Articles Posted in Injuries at School

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A school district in California has agreed to pay $7.1 million to a former high school football player who sued for personal injuries after he reportedly suffered permanent brain damage stemming from the failure of his coach to recognize his concussion after a game.student injury lawyer

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports the student was 14 and a freshman on the school’s football team when he was diagnosed with a concussion following a game in the fall of 2013. Coaches reportedly had been trained specifically to recognize the symptoms of head injuries, but despite this did not seek medical help for the student when he displayed several of those symptoms. Prior to the incident, plaintiff was a bright student with a 3.9 GPA and a promising future. He was forced to take a year off school and returned to his studies at a high school that has a program specifically for students suffering from brain injuries.

For a time after the incident, he was comatose. There was uncertainty about whether he’d walk or talk again. His lawyers said the fact that he is now in a position to be able to graduate is “miraculous.”  Continue reading →

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The horrific events of last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County left 17 people killed and dozens of people wounded. It also left the community, the state and the nation reeling, once again trying to make sense of the whys and the hows and who should be held responsible. Most notably, this has sparked another heated debate over access to guns and Second Amendment rights. However, it’s also an important time to examine what duty of care schools, law enforcement officials and other government entities have in keeping students safe, and who should be held accountable when those measures fail or aren’t enough. school injury lawyer

The Miami Herald recently reported that one 15-year-old student, shot five times in both legs, intends to sue Broward County and seek monetary damages to help cover the cost of his long-time recovery. The notice of intent to file a lawsuit names several entities, including the Broward County Public Schools, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office and the school resource officer who was on duty that day. In a briefly outlined statement, his attorney indicated actions by these entities and individuals failed to protect students (and this student in particular) from life-threatening harm, and further were unreasonable, callous and negligent. He asserted the defendants’ actions/ inaction were the proximate cause of plaintiff’s serious and lasting injuries.

Now, we must pause here for a moment to explain because it is a seemingly foreign concept that someone other than the person firing the shots could be legally responsible for the attack. Within the criminal justice system, absent any evidence of collusion or conspiracy, that is probably true. However, within the civil justice system we are looking at anybody who owed a duty of care to the person who was hurt, whether those duties were breached and whether those breaches allowed the perpetrator the access and opportunity to carry out his plots.  Continue reading →

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The sovereign immunity doctrine in Florida bars lawsuits in state court against a state government, as well as its agencies and subdivision, absent governmental consent. Although proponents of this theory say it allows for governmental discretion by allowing officials to engage in flexible decision-making without risk of liability and protects public funds, opponents say it fails to discourage wrong-doing and leaves injured parties with no viable remedy. injury attorney

Florida’s waiver of sovereign immunity is outlined in F.S. 768.28, a lengthy and complex statute that allows for various stipulations on suing the government or government employees for negligence. Even if you win, your damage award will be capped at $200,000 a person and $300,000 total per claim (no matter how many claimants), unless the state legislature passes a bill that allows for a higher amount in any given case. This doesn’t mean it’s never worthwhile to pursue compensation from a government agency or worker if you’re injured owing to their negligence, but it’s important to understand there will be a number of challenges, which is why hiring an experienced Orlando injury attorney is so critical.

A recent case considered by the Georgia Supreme Court considered a wrongful death claim involving the tragic death of a student engaged in horseplay in an unsupervised classroom. His parents alleged it was the result of negligence in whole or in part of the teacher who left the room. However, the teacher was a governmental employee, and as such, the question of official immunity was raised.  Continue reading →

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A tiny tick in a mountainous region of China set off a chain of events leading to a $40 million verdict against a Connecticut school – a verdict recently affirmed by the Connecticut Supreme Court.child injury lawyer

Although the court’s ruling doesn’t have a direct impact on case law in Florida, state high courts often look to their sister courts in considering rulings that may set precedent. The case was certified to the state supreme court from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which sought answers as to whether public policy supports imposing a duty on a school to warn about or protect against the risk of a serious insect-borne disease in organizing an abroad trip. The court was also asked whether damages in the amount of $41.5 million warranted a remittitur (reduction). The court answered yes to the first and no to the second.

The court’s ruling underscored that schools do have an affirmative duty to protect children in their care. The ruling doesn’t definitively settle the case, the outcome of which is expected to play a role in how – or whether – schools provide such travel opportunities in the future. Continue reading →

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Parents of an Oklahoma boy have filed a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of their young son, alleging he suffered a brain injury while at day care.rocking horse

Of course, our injury lawyers know that kids are prone to getting hurt. They can be clumsy. They don’t always pay close attention to where they are walking or climbing or running. They often fail to appreciate the danger in every day situations. But that’s all common knowledge, and that’s precisely why a company running a daycare has the responsibility to keep a watchful eye. They have a duty to make sure their staffers are fully vetted, properly trained and carefully watched. They have a responsibility to make sure they hire enough staffers in ratio to the number of children in their care and that appropriate action is taken to prevent accidents, injuries and illnesses that are foreseeable.

Plaintiffs in these cases need to show that the child’s injuries were the result of negligence, which means the daycare facility and/ or staffers failed to exercise due care to prevent a foreseeable injury. Accidents that involve falls from playground equipment, illnesses caused by unsanitary conditions or slipping on some substance that wasn’t quickly cleaned – these are all incidents that were probably foreseeable. Similarly, a child injured by a daycare worker with a violent criminal background or a lack of basic experience would also be a foreseeable injury. Continue reading →

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We send our children to school with the expectation that the grounds are reasonably safe and the kids will be properly supervised. When this is not the case and an injury results, it could be grounds for litigation. icy pond

Generally, personal injury lawsuits against school districts tend to be tricky because, first and foremost, public schools are agents of the government. As such, they are entitled to certain protections, such as sovereign immunity, which is only waived under certain circumstances. Still, it’s usually accepted that there is a special relationship between school staffers and students, and thus a duty to protect.

In a recent case out of Wyoming, the question was whether a school district should be liable for injuries suffered to a child who fell while playing on a patch of ice on school grounds during school hours. The Wyoming Supreme Court, in reviewing the lower court’s ruling, analyzed four different elements of this case and determined the answer to the question of liability was: No.  Continue reading →

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The family of a Florida high school student who suffered permanent brain damage as a result of oxygen loss after collapsing on a school soccer field has won the right to continue their civil lawsuit against the school district.soccerball

Continuation of the case, Limones v. Lee County School District, which had previously been dismissed via trial court’s summary judgment favoring defendant last year, hinged on whether the school employees owed a reasonable duty of care under F.S. 1006.165 to diagnose the need for, locate and use an automated external defibrillator.

What the law says is the every public school that is a member of the Florida High School Athletic Association has to keep a defibrillator on school grounds and all employees and volunteers who may reasonably be expected to use the device need to know how to use it.

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Given that school is where students spend roughly a third of their day, it’s no wonder it is the site of many injuries. School districts can be successfully sued for negligence resulting in child injury, but cases must overcome assertions of sovereign immunity, damage caps and denial of duty owed. lockerroom

The kinds of injuries for which schools may be responsible include playground injuries, sports-related injuries, bullying-related injuries, school bus accidents or general premises liability injuries related to dangerous conditions on school grounds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate the cost of playground injuries alone in the U.S. is $1.2 billion.

However, as the recent case of Halvorson v. Sweetwater County School Dist. reveals, these cases may be fraught with challenges for plaintiffs. That’s why having an experienced injury lawyer is critical.

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Whether you are sending your first-born off to college for freshman year or you have been through back to school season before, staying abreast of safety concerns can help prevent college campus injuries. No parent wants to think about the potential dangers faced on campus, but having a discussion with your recent high school graduate could save lives.

Our Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys are dedicated to providing strategic advocacy to victims and their families. In the event of a campus-related injury, we will conduct an immediate and independent investigation, determine the cause of the accident, and hold all responsible individuals or entities accountable.

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Here are some common campus safety issues and tips to prevent injuries and accidents:
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Sexual assault on college campuses is a major problem, in Florida and nationwide. The U.S. Justice Department reports that in an average year, one out of every 20 female college students will suffer a sexual assault, with roughly 80 to 90 percent of those involving an acquaintance.
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As West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys, we recognize that beyond the criminal aspects of a case, there is often a question of civil liability. Sometimes, this surfaces in the form of failure to provide adequate security or have appropriate policies in place. We would also look at the possibility of a violation under Title X of the Education Amendments of 1972, specifically whether there has been an issue of deliberate indifference regarding the rape (or sexual harassment).

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a college or university that receives federal funds could be held legally liable to pay compensation to a victim of student-on-student sexual harassment or rape if the victim can prove that university officials acted with deliberate indifference to known acts in its programs or activities.
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