Smiley Law Sues Bus Company After Student Went Missing for Hours

BY Dorian Block
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Wednesday, August 19th 2009, 4:00 AM

Saleh Pady with his four year-old son Mohamed
Florescu for News | Saleh Pady with his four year-old son Mohamed who was left on a school bus for hours earlier this year.

A bus brought Mohamed Pady, 4, home from his day care center every day at 5 p.m. – until the day he never arrived.

His parents called the school, the bus company and 911 that Jan. 6 day of this year, and went on a three-hour search with police until they found him on the bus, 20 minutes from his Parkchester home, shaking with his pants wet and soiled. The driver said he was lost, according to the family.

Now the family is suing the bus company – Selby Transportation – for what Mohamed’s parents say was negligence in hiring and training practices and for putting their son in danger.

"We were scared. We were very, very scared," said Mohamed’s father, Saleh Pady. "I lost control of myself. I now feel you can’t trust anyone with your child."

"There’s an expectation that our children will be safe when they’re transported in school buses," said Pady’s lawyer, Jason Friedman, a partner at Smiley & Smiley, LLP. "It’s a terrifying experience for the child and the family."

Arden Emerson, general manager of the Bronx-based bus company, which transports private and public school students, said it had not yet seen the lawsuit, filed in Bronx Supreme Court this week. He said, however, that the company did investigate the incident when it happened.

Emerson said he believes the Grow With Us Center on Davidson Ave. got out late that day.

"Because the times were so dramatically different, some of the parents weren’t there and he had to go back to some addresses," Emerson said.

The company found no wrongdoing. The driver, whose name it did not release, still works there, said Emerson.

Saleh Pady, 52, a retired Defense Department employee, said it took his son – who had developmental speech delays before the incident – more than six months to be willing to get back on a bus. He also attends therapy since being traumatized by the incident, the dad said.

"When we saw him he was peeing himself. Doo-doing himself. He wasn’t talking. He was shaking," Pady said. "He didn’t want to eat. He hid under the bed. Ever since then he does that sometimes."

Friedman added that Mohamed has been seeing a counselor and taking medication for the trauma he experienced.

While a pediatrician found no evidence of physical or sexual abuse, Mohamed did have several scratches on his shoulder, and his parents fear that the driver yelled at him while he was lost.

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