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“She put our children in jeopardy:” Former teacher receives $75K after showing up to field trip drunk

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Maria Caya

JANESVILLE — The city of Janesville has agreed to pay a former teacher $75,000 — after she showed up to an elementary school field trip drunk in 2013, and was fired from the district.

Maria Caya had a blood alcohol level of .27 the day of that field trip — three times the legal limit.

After the city made that BAC public, Caya sued — to the tune of $5.5 million. Caya said in the lawsuit the releasing of that blood alcohol level test caused her stress and public embarrassment.

Instead of taking that multi-million dollar lawsuit to court, the Janesville City Council agreed to pay a $75,000 settlement to Caya. This, on top of the $18,000 payout she received from the district.

One councilman did vote against the settlement — saying residents he talked to thought Caya should be held accountable for her actions.

“I think that there’s a lot of things that happened that day and I would think that a judge and jury of her peers would be able to see through all of that and make the correct decision on that,” Jens Jorgensen said.

One parent said she has a daughter who was in Caya’s class and took part in the field trip on the day of the incident. She said she doesn’t feel enough has been done to penalize Caya for putting students in danger.

“I feel like we were victimized once. She put our children in jeopardy, and now the money that I pay to the city in taxes could go to pay her for victimizing our children,” Christine Nimmo said.

The Janesville city attorney said the settlement would be covered by the city’s insurance policy and would not be payed for with taxpayer dollars.

It’s still unclear whether the Janesville Police Department violated any laws by releasing Caya’s blood alcohol level.

53 comments

  • confused

    Wow because the drunks name and behaviour was published for all the world to see she gets 75k? Had she been sober enough she would have posted a selfie-supposed to be chaperoning but got my drink on instead whoooo. Great example. You would not have BEEN embarrassed if you would have done the job you were paid to do clean and sober. And now you get even more $-that’s more then most COUPLES who have kids in your school earn together in a year.

  • HeatherH

    Well, now she gets publicly shamed for being a drunk and having to make some bogus lawsuit. Take that $75k and go get plastered and dig yourself a grave..

  • roundballfisherman

    Who pays for the city’s insurance premium? The Taxpayer or the City Attorney? Claims=Higher premiums.

  • Metal Maniac

    Congratulations, you got $75,000. Now what will you do the rest of your life?? No one in their right mind will hire you after the stunt you pulled. Your career is in teaching and they all do pretty intense background checks. I would have went for the $5.5 Million, got a small place in a small town and lived out my days.

    • AngryatDrunkTeachers

      20-1 she ends up in a desperate inner city school unless her husband makes enough to support her and her alcoholism.

  • Lin

    Our world is truly going to Hell. She’s getting nearly $100,000 for being drunk on the job. I wonder how she got to work that morning. Was she driving while drunk? Lock her up and throw away the key.

  • w. kopycki

    how else is she going to teach children to drink on the job except by example. liberals don’t want to create a fuss so they give in every time.

  • MichMike

    As is typical, the union has far more money to spend on litigation than the school district, so this woman who belongs jail instead gets a monetary award. I think the union leadership calls it their “FOR THE CHILDREN” strategy.

  • Diane Sagan

    Should have left her on the floor then fired her for not doing her job. Take photos of her passed out on he floor with several witnesses to the fact. Then have the cops waiting for her as she tries to drive drunk.
    Use photos.. kept private unless she decides to sue as reason she was fired. If it went public, it would because she filed laws suit against school district.

  • Jim Bush

    Wow, 0.27?? That’s not “drunk”. That’s “blitzed” or perhaps “totally s-faced”. 0.05 is like “I feel a bit tipsy”. 0.1 is like “I think I could fight a bear”. 0.27 is what happens when you think you can fight the bear, but you decide to drink him under the table instead, and there is no bear.

  • J. Collins

    So, people finding out you had a bac of .027 is more emarrasing than passing out in a bowling alley bathroom? I’m surprised she didn’t sue the bowling alley for having a restroom for her to pass out in.

  • Tom Ronson

    A perfect example of what is wrong with teachers being unionized. Impossible to fire the bad ones without paying them money. They need to be fired like any employee of a non-union company.
    This country needs to rid itself of the unions and we can start by electing Trump.

  • dawnjerrene

    Arrest records and the accompanying information is a matter of public record. What, in the name of Heaven, did this fool think would happen when she eventually got caught pie-eyed in public?

  • Ben Eaton

    Another drunkard hydro dorsal soon to be driving a tricked out Ford Pinto financed by the $75K on which no taxes will get paid most likely.

  • D. West

    This is so outrageous as to defy belief. A perfect example of everything that is wrong with our schools and the unions that control them – for the betterment of the unions – the students and taxpayers be damned. And the people of Janesville should run the elected idiots that agreed to this, out of town on a rail. That’s $75k + that can’t be used for fire or police protection, for snow plowing, street work, etc. Just appalling. Where is the community outrage? This woman should be shunned or counter-sued by the parents of the children the SHE put at risk, during her alcoholic meltdown.

  • John

    So when every other news agency reports that so and so BAC is xxx when they were involved in a wreck is ok but this one is the exception? what a bunch of BS. BACs are not guarded information. Go read any DUI accident story on any news source and the driver will be identified. This lady can go FO

  • james

    Hey wait a minute, how can school district give her 18K agreed????? and now 6 of 7 council members agree to give 75K ::: this town is ready F(*^%%%^ up. no way could she have won that suite?????

  • strange

    This case should have gone onto civil court, and the judge award her five dollars. Congratulations, you win. BAL 0.27, more than 3x the legal limit, passed out in the toilet, for a school teacher chaperoning children? She deserves jail time.

  • Richard Symonowicz

    In Wisconsin you can getaway with almost anything ? So come on down to the Cheese Head State give it a go at your Crime ??? and see if you can Strike it Rich in good OLD WISCONSIN ! Where Justice is a Joke ?

  • mark Bosenn

    only in America, can you break the law…put kids in danger…..AND get monetary reward…….This country deserves where it is headed

  • Michael Hall

    You got to be kidding me. Basically, it sounds like she’s saying “let’s not focus on how incredibly irresponsible I was, let’s focus on authorities putting my business in the street”. Tell me this ain’t the land of opportunity, you can do something inexcusable/irresponsible and still sue(and win).

  • NG

    “Caya said in the lawsuit the releasing of that blood alcohol level test caused her stress and public embarrassment”

    Really I guess passing out in a bathroom on a school trip wasn’t embarrassing at all?

  • ayax

    Only in USA you get drunk in school and get 75 g you do that in any other country and your ass is in JAIL forget it about the money

  • Wanda Chapman

    This is what is wrong with this Country. Paying out for ones screw ups. Shameful Hag ought have been tossed in the drunk tank until she dried up and out. Instead, she gets paid to be a “victim of her own stupidity and selfishness”! Disgusting!!

  • AngryatDrunkTeachers

    My 9th grade algebra teacher used to come into class everyday, take a big swig out of her suspicious smelling coffee and pass out at her desk. I didn’t do well in the higher maths because of her not teaching the class how to do algebra (this was before the internet and Khan Academy). This “teacher” should be paying the students for messing up their education and endangering them.

  • SOMEBODYPASSTHEKLEENEX

    Would she have been embarrassed if her name was publicly announced had she’d been pulled over for DUI? So, in other words, the city council rewarded her bad behavior. The next time this lady’s face hits the news she’ll probably be blowing into a kleenex while shamefully wearing an orange jumpsuit. That is after dancing to the tune of 75,000 and getting loaded.

  • Chris

    Everyone who is focusing on this ladies behaviour is missing the point. There are health privacy laws in place that protect an individual in these cases and from just a cursory glance at the situation it appears that the city violated those laws. Of course that doesn’t excuse this woman and I hope she is prosecuted to the fullest extent and loses her teaching credentials. There is no excuse for her behaviour.

  • Claram

    This POS should be in jail . She was a teacher. Releasing her blood test caused her embarrassment and pain. What should have caused her embarrassment was showing up drunk to her job looking out for the well being of children. I’m sure a big chunk of that money will go to her lawyer. And now she succeeded in making her name more well known.. Hopefully no one will hire her anywhere again

  • Unbelievable

    To the City Attorney, tax dollars pay for your insurance so your tax payers get the shaft twice. Our legal system is screwed up, this woman is making a profit for being drunk while on the job, putting children at risk and saying “drinking and being drunk at any time is A OK and a dandy way to live your life!” This teacher’s act of public drunkenness and all the others that are in the media do more damage than any “DO NO DRINKDRUG DRIVE” Campaign can ever overcome. This piece of garbage is making money off being DRUNK ON THE JOB WITH IMPRESSIONABLE CHILDREN at that, the US a joke.

  • Chris

    Her blood alcohol level is what caused her embarrassment? What about passing out in the bathroom of the bowling alley!!!!! She should have had to PAY not receive money.

  • Mark kacop

    It’s simple. Under no circumstances can the city release medical data on a person EVER, unless it’s in an actual trial. Being that the city released her medical data to the public, no matter the reason, it broke a slew laws. It’s unfortunate in this situation, because the city had a ‘good’ reason, but iIt’s lucky to get off with such a small payout.

  • Conjugal Visitor

    From, “all the cop stuff in the news” dept: Cops won’t release videos and keep their investigations about other cops “in-house”. But they make calls to the media for arranging a public display of the “perp walk”. No, it wasn’t illegal, and yes, I think this “woman” is a drunk pig, but shame on the people who are supposed to protect and serve. Now if they could be so forthcoming with their own “officers”…

  • Fred

    On the outside, I know this case looks to be very odd. However, the biggest issue is not that the woman was intoxicated at work and was taken to the hospital after passing out in a bathroom. All those are indisputable facts for this cased. The biggest issue here is that the hospital released Caya’s medical information to the police and her medical information subsequently, became public without her consent. And since Caya had not be charged with any crime, the hospital and the police cannot do that. That’s pretty much it! That’s how she won. And any good lawyer can see that huge HIPAA Privacy Rule violation in this case.

    So what’s the HIPAA Privacy Rule? Well those federal laws which establishes national standards to protect individuals’ medical records and other personal health information and applies to health plans, health care clearinghouses, and those health care providers that conduct certain health care transactions electronically. Therefore, I believe Caya could have won her case based on the HIPAA Privacy Rule alone, but Caya was smart to not push her luck, right? Caya gave the city an option that kept her criminal record clean but one that was a very obvious choice for the city to make this go away. Think about it, if you were the city, looking a cut and dry HIPAA violation; what would you chose, 5.5 Million which is not in the budget or one years of a teacher’s salary, which was already in the budget? Yeah!

    In short, Caya got the settlement because of sloppy police work which amounted to a major violation of the HIPAA Privacy Rule. The hospital and the police involved in this case are the ones who really should be investigated for not following the federal guidelines, put in place to protect, not only Caya’s personal medical information, but all Americans as well.

  • Richard Helgerson

    This is the kind of stupidity between isolated instances of teachers,the school district, and lawyers that give teachers a bad rap. Certainly not all teachers are of this caliber of ignorance or as cunning. The taxpayers fume when these cases are adjudicated they way they are. Posters will reference liability insurance, but income to pay the premiums are paid by the citizens. When unions and teachers sit ideal and essentially condone this conduct by not speaking out, you bare the rather of the taxpayer.

  • William

    Just to think, I could have made millions at my last job. Oh well, lessons learned for the next one! Anybody hiring? Of course there was a lawyer supporting her all the way.

  • STACY

    the city caused her embarrassment??!!!! that woman deserves NO settlement. what the hell is wrong with this world. really the judge cant see its ALL consequence of HER OWN ACTIONS?! Youre setting a really good example, whoever the hell judge you are! STUPID

  • Doria Whitlatch

    So lets reward her for going to school drunk and putting the children’s lives at jeopardy. Sure. She should have gotten fired and I don’t care if her name was all over the world she SHOULDN’T GET A THING.

  • Steve

    Stupid drunk gives teachers a bad name.. She should have her poster up at the post office with idiot posted underneath. She should lose her job and pay a penalty not receive anything. I hope she is so ashamed she moves to Mexico!

Comments are closed.