SCHOOL'S SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTION DENIED WHERE THREE YEAR-OLD CLAIMS INJURY DUE TO LACK OF PLAYGROUND SUPERVISION

Court: Supreme Court, Dutchess County, New York

Case: Thelma Harrell, Individually and as Mother and Natural Guardian of Infant Jai Elting v. Poughkeepsie Seventh Day Adventist Elementary School

Date: Sept. 5, 2012

From: New York attorney Gary E. Rosenberg (personal injury and accident attorney and lawyer; serving Queens; Queens injury attorney)

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Motion by defendant for summary judgment in tihs accident case. On September 22, 2009, the 3 year-old child plaintiff was at school recess and was tying to run up a playground slide when he fell, injuring his right arm. The school had about 30 students, most enrolled in pre‑pre‑K, pre‑K and kindergarten programs. The entire school's student body shared the same recess, and there was only a single supervisor in the playground at the time of the accident.

On January 11, 2010, the same child plaintiff had a second accident and was injured when he was pushed by an older student pushed him. He fell and hurt his mouth. There was only one supervisor around when this injury occurred.

Summary judgment is granted on paper when there are no issues of fact requiring a trial. Both sides lay out their cases.

HELD: The school did not show on paper that it provided adequate or sufficient supervision.

Defense summary judgment motion is denied as there are issues of fact regarding whether the supervision was adequate and if more supervisors or better supervision would have avoided these two accidents.

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