$45,000 Settlement For Pre-Teen Injured at Middle SchoolSeptember 1, 2014
Christopher L. Musmanno, Esq., Chair of the Personal Injury Department and Certified Civil Trial Attorney with the law firm of Einhorn, Barbarito, Frost & Botwinick, PC, Denville, NJ, announces a $45,000 settlement for an injury caused during gym class at a middle school. The plaintiff was a seventh grade student in the Parsippany Middle School system. In the weeks preceding the date of this incident, the seventh grade gym teacher took her first period gym class outside, which included the plaintiff, for the purpose of playing two-hand touch football. During that time, the gym teacher knew, or should have known, of the wet and slippery conditions created by morning dew on the grass field as multiple students have slipped, and fallen to the ground, throughout the course of each first period gym class. Notwithstanding, on the day of this incident, the gym teacher directed her first period gym class, along with plaintiff, back out onto the wet and slippery grass field to play two-hand touch football. During the course of the game, plaintiff was being chased by another student while she had the ball. She attempted to perform an evasive maneuver such as cutting and/or turning away from her pursuing classmate when she suddenly slipped and fell on the wet grass sustaining a severe and eruptible bodily injury to her left ankle. Specifically, she had a complex displaced fracture of her left ankle which required the placement of a screw in her left ankle. A lawsuit was commenced against the school and the gym teacher under Title 59. Christopher L. Musmanno, Esq. argued that pursuant to Title 59 the school and gym teacher failed to discover, rectify, remedy and/or otherwise make safe the dangerous condition present upon the premises at the time. He further argued that the location of the plaintiff’s fall was palpably predictable where the gym teacher had actual and/or constructive notice, and sufficient time prior to this incident, to have taken measures to protect against the dangerous condition that proximately caused the plaintiff’s reasonably foreseeable injuries. Although the case was a first impression and unique under Title 59, Mr. Musmanno was not dissuaded in pursuing the case vigorously and it was settled early into the litigation for the amount of $45,000.00. The settlement was approved by a Morris County Judge as fair and reasonable.