Recently a Kings County (that's Brooklyn) jury held a New York City school liable in negligence for the severe eye injuries sustained by a student during gym class, when a fellow student, who had been wielding a golf club nearby, struck the plaintiff in her eye, tearing her retina, and leaving her with what appears now to be permanently impaired vision.

A natural question you might ask is, "Under New York law, why should the school be held liable for the unsafe acts of a thrid party - in this case, a fellow student?" As noted elsewhere, such as ""Why Many (If Not Most) NY Playground Accident Lawsuits Are Dismissed," or "The Hardest Part of Proving a Playground Injury Case Under New York Law," a school must, as a general rule, be found to have had notice of the impending threat, yet failed to do undertake adequate protective measures, and thereby prevent the accident from occurring. This is far from an easy task.

In this particular case, there was evidence that the gym teacher had precious little experience with golfing, and failed to assure adeuaquate spacing between the students, before the defendant started swinging his golf club - and straight into plaintiff's eye. Therefore, in this case, the issue was apparently not so much having to do with "notice"  Rather, in this case, it appears that the City actively created - or, at the least, was a substantial factor in creating - the danger complained of. (See, "Why Why Many (If Not Most) NY Playground Accident Lawsuits Are Dismissed,"supra).

And, as a result, the school gym injury and negligence case was allowed to go to the jury, which ultimately held in the plaintiff's favor.
Jonathan Cooper
Connect with me
Non-Compete, Trade Secret and School Negligence Lawyer
Post A Comment