School Not Liable For Injury Due To Horseplay Between Two Sixth Grade Friends

Court: Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York

Case: Keith S. (Anonymous) v. East Islip Union Free School District

Date: June 20, 2012

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

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RELATED POSTS:

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HIGH SCHOOLER HIT IN FACE BY TEAMMATE'S SOFTBALL BAT; THIS ACCIDENT CASE DISMISSED AFTER TRIAL DUE TO "ASSUMPTION OF THE RISK"

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

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Facts: Suing a school where one student hurts another is usually tricky. Kids will fight. How is it the school's fault if one hurts another? This case represents a classic example of friendly "horsing around." Why a law firm even took this case (an obvious loser) is somewhat puzzling.

Ons six grader pushed his buddy into a wall, injuring him. Of course they were boys; this is the kind of stuff that boys of that age do.

Held: To be held responsible for one student injuring another, the school had to have some knowledge that the event might happen or could have been anticipated. Since the two students involved in this incident were friendly -- with no history of fighting or threats -- the school had no "notice." Also, there was no failure of supervision on the school's part because the incident happened so fast.

Case dismissed.

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