CORINTH • The parents of an autistic teen who disappeared for 10 days earlier this year from a boarding school in Alcorn County have now sued the school along with seven other families, alleging physical and verbal abuse and pressing civil claims that include fraud, negligence and assault and battery.
Nathan Covarrubias, who was 14 at the time, disappeared from the Summit’s View Ranch for Boys on May 29 and was missing until he was found on June 7 in nearby Tennessee.
David Lovely and his wife Teresa, or Terri, opened Summit’s View (also sometimes styled without the apostrophe) near Walnut in 2018 and claimed to help troubled, delinquent or behaviorally challenged boys.
Now, in a civil lawsuit brought by Edgardo and Carrie Covarrubias on behalf on their son, the family alleges that the teen endured abuse and mistreatment.
The New Albany-based law firm of Rutledge and Davis on Thursday filed individual suits on behalf of eight different families in Alcorn County Circuit Court.
Claims in a lawsuit represents the allegations of only one side. The defendants in this suit have not yet made any response to the civil action and were only served process in the suit late Thursday afternoon.
A representative of Summit’s View declined to offer any comment about the matter. An attorney who represented the facility during an investigation by Child Protection Services previously denied to the Daily Journal the prior allegations of abuse that prompted that investigation.
The Daily Journal first reported the existence of the CPS investigation. Summit’s View leadership has claimed that disgruntled former employees made false allegations with CPS against the boarding school after failing to take control of the facility away from David Lovely.
The civil suits variously allege that abusive tactics at Summit’s View included, “slapping the children, handcuffing children to ladders for weeks, forcing children to box each other as a form of punishment, hitting the children in the crotch, verbally harassing the children, commanding Lovely’s dog to attack children and others, locking children in an isolation room, forcing children into lakes when they could not swim, dunking children’s heads underwater while the children were handcuffed, pouring blended food on the children’s heads, putting animal feces into the children’s faces, and training the older children to physically assault the younger students on the command from Lovely or other staff members.”
As an initial filing, evidence or testimony that may support these claims has not yet been entered into the court record.
The Covarrubias suit also alleges that Nathan Covarrubias in particular was subjected to demeaning treatment that included verbal berating and other physical mistreatment. The Covarrubias family resides in Texas.
The seven other suits all make similar claims, and include individuals or couples living in California, Louisiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington.