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School Sued After Horseplay Injury


A Florida high school is the target of a personal injury lawsuit after a student broke his neck in gym class. Video taken by other students shows the student being lifted off the ground and slammed on his head, like a wrestling move. The student suffered a severe spinal injury from which he is still recovering and may never fully recover. A lawyer for the plaintiff has produced a video of the incident showing the gym teacher’s back turned to the two students engaging in horseplay. The lawsuit will attempt to recover damages related to the student’s medical expenses, decreased quality of life, and loss of potential earnings. Since the high school is a private Christian academy, it will not be protected by sovereign immunity.

Negligent Supervision of Children 

The academy is being blamed for negligently supervising its children. Indeed, it can’t be discerned from the video what type of activity the students are engaged in during gym class. Perhaps it isn’t like this anymore, but students used to play sports in gym like soccer and hockey. In the video, there are two students off by themselves wrestling while other students are using their cameras to record the wrestling, and still other students are milling about without a structured activity.

The plaintiffs additionally allege that the student’s injuries were exacerbated by those attending to him directly after the incident occurred. An attempt was made to pick the student up and move them—something that anyone with a basic knowledge of spinal injuries would know not to do.

Not the First Incident at Florida Christian Academy 

This is not the first incident of a student being injured during gym class, according to the plaintiffs. In 2012, a student was killed after he was struck by lightning at school. According to the parents, the school did not have lightning detection and the children should not have been allowed to play outside while there was an electrical storm. As a result of that choice, a child lost his life.

The issue for the academy is that it appears as though a lack of structure and supervision is resulting in unnecessary injuries and deaths. The parents contend that the school is responsible and that the lawsuit is an attempt to prevent incidents like this from happening again.

A spinal injury such as this can easily result in paralysis of both the legs and arms rendering the injured unable to care for themselves. Those with such injuries incur millions of dollars in lifelong expenses for in-home or facility-based care.

Talk to a Tampa Personal Injury Attorney Today 

If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of another party, call the Tampa personal injury attorneys at The Matassini Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your situation in greater detail.

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