In a verdict that was handed down on October 4, a Suffolk County jury dismissed a middle school student's claim that his school was guilty of negligence for failing to assure that all of the participants in a lacrosse match were fitted with bottom caps. (As you may have guessed, he was struck by another player's stick that didn't have the rubberized bottom, and suffered a severe laceration as a result).

The defense to the school negligence case - which was relatively straightforward - was that the school had discharged its obligation by instructing the students not to use sticks that didn't have the bottom in place, by inspecting the sticks before handing them out to the students, and further directing the students to return any sticks whose bottom became detached.

Thus, it is certainly not surprising that the jury sided with the school in this case.

So, why is this case noteworthy?

Because it serves as a valuable reminder that even though some cases aren't disposed of via motion, that doesn't mean that they are viable cases for purposes of trial. Or, stated differently, surviving to the point of trial doesn't mean you have a winner of a case at trial.
Jonathan Cooper
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Non-Compete, Trade Secret and School Negligence Lawyer
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