When parents bring their children to school in the morning they do so expecting that the school premises is safe and properly maintained. After all, elementary schools throughout the state of New York must meet state and federal building standards and maintenance guidelines. Issues like negligence and poor property maintenance on the part of school grounds workers and administrators can arise, however, and can contribute to incidents of sidewalk falls and unsafe conditions for students. Tragically, one young child sustained dangerous premises injuries while on school grounds, suffering a serious and permanent brain injury.
The incident that resulted in a major lawsuit involving a school district in Anchorage, Alaska, occurred in the spring of 2009. A kindergarten student was running to his mother after class when he tripped and fell, sustaining a major brain injury. The boy’s family argued that the child’s injury was caused by the school district because the school property had not been cleared of the tree limbs and stumps that contributed to the boy’s injury.
Claiming that the child’s brain injury left him with permanent medical conditions that would require 24-hour care for the rest of his life, the boy’s family requested $25 million in damages. This year, the judge presiding over the case ruled in favor of the victim and his family and found the school district liable for more than $4 million.
The tragic accident occurred when the boy fell on the exposed tree limbs and one punctured the frontal lobe of his brain. The section of the brain that was injured is responsible for regulating body temperature, hunger and sleep rhythms. In addition to suffering from memory loss, the boy reportedly shows signs of emotional difficulties and OCD.
Source: adn.com, “School District faces $4.5 million judgment in child’s injury,” Michelle Theriault Boots, April 5, 2014