Student’s Premises Liability Case Against School Dismissed Based on Lack of Causation

Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a personal injury case involving several interesting issues that are relevant for Florida accident victims. The case required the court to determine whether a school could be held liable for the injuries sustained by a student while playing floor hockey in gym class. Ultimately, the court concluded that the school was not necessarily immune from liability in all circumstances involving gym class injuries, but given the facts of this case, the school was not negligent.

The Facts

The plaintiff was a middle-school student at the defendant school. As a part of the physical education curriculum, all students were required to participate in team sports during gym class. One of the sports the students played was floor hockey.

Pursuant to school regulations, safety equipment was not necessary when playing floor hockey. However, the gym teacher instructed the students to avoid “high-sticking” and went over safety rules prior to beginning the game. However, during the game, the plaintiff was accidentally struck in the eye by another student’s stick. As a result, the plaintiff required eye surgery and several follow-up appointments.

The plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against the school, claiming that it was negligent in allowing the students to play floor hockey and in using the wrong equipment. The school countered that the plaintiff assumed the risk of the activity by voluntarily participating in the game, and it also argued that, as a matter of law, the school was entitled to immunity because the decision to have the students play floor hockey was a discretionary government function.

The court dismissed the school’s first argument, finding that the plaintiff was required to play floor hockey as a part of the curriculum, and therefore, the plaintiff could not be said to have voluntarily assumed the risks involved. However, the court agreed with the school that it was entitled to limited immunity. The court explained that the school was entitled to immunity insofar as its choice to adopt floor hockey as a part of the curriculum, but not necessarily in the execution of the game itself.

Thus, the court considered the specific facts presented in the plaintiff’s case. After doing so, the court found that there was no negligent act on the part of any school employee that resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries. As a result, the court entered judgment in favor of the school.

Has Your Child Been Injured While at School?

If you have a son or daughter who has recently been injured while on school grounds, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Schools generally have a duty to ensure the safety of students, and they can be held liable when they fail to take adequate precautions. While schools are entitled to limited government immunity, each case should be considered on its merits by an experienced attorney to determine if liability may be appropriate. To learn more, and to speak with a dedicated South Florida personal injury attorney about your child’s injuries, call 877-448-8585 to schedule a free consultation today.

More Blog Posts:

Court Reverses Jury’s Verdict Based on Lack of Evidence Showing the Defendant Knew about Hazard that Caused Plaintiff’s Fall, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published November 27, 2017.

Court Upholds Arbitration Agreement in Recent Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuit, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published November 13, 2017.

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