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Injury on School Property Premises Liability

Discussion in 'Accidents, Injuries, Negligence' started by DDil, Sep 13, 2019.

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  1. DDil

    DDil Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hello. I am writing on behalf of my daughter. -Her son, my grandson, age 10, -was injured at a summer camp on school property this past summer.

    As a result of lack of supervision, a ball hit him and he fell face first , broke his front tooth down to gum line and now requires ongoing care probably forever with this tooth injury. (Possible other teeth injured also)

    the School insurance rep said they are not responsible. My daughter has already started paying medical fees close to $1,000 and can not afford it.
    So far , there is no paper trail.

    Please help. Is there any way to get Med bills paid? (And hopefully consideration for medical bills for future ongoing dental care as a result of this injury.)

    Thank you for any and all comments.
     
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    What do you mean by "As a result of lack of supervision..."? Were they supposed to have an attendant standing by every participant to block any errant balls?

    What, exactly, happened?
     
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  3. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    And what kind of release of liability claims did your daughter sign when registering the child for the camp initially?
     
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  4. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    There will have to be sufficient evidence to support this. That he got hit with a ball does not mean there was no supervision or that there was negligence. One might immediately wonder why the boy didn't see the ball and avoid it. What activity was he engaged in?

    Create one. Stop with the phone calls and communicate in writing. Submit a demand to the school to pay the medical bills and submit evidence of the expenses. They may still refuse, but that is your paper trail.

    If you can prove negligence you may be able to get them to pay. Get their denial on paper then try to resolve it in court if you must.
     
  5. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Totally agree - except that it will be one of the child's parents that do this, not our OP ;)
     
    DDil likes this.
  6. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Was this camp operated by the school or a separate entity? I wonder if you might be making the request of the wrong company.
     
  7. DDil

    DDil Law Topic Starter New Member

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    No not attendant to each child, a few camp counselors! Is that the expected supervision of children in general? Just asking? Camp counselors were out and about around camp engaging other children. - when injury occurred , counselor thought my grandson was engaged in a different area, did not know accident happened even though bleeding from mouth, also had no idea who threw the giant ball at my grandsons head, causing him to fall on face.
     
  8. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Seems to me like it could have happened even if someone had been standing 5' away supervising the activity. The kid got hurt playing at camp. It was an accident. As was mentioned above, your daughter most assuredly signed a waiver.
     
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  9. DDil

    DDil Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Township Summer camp release form from injury. However, I understand that sometimes the release can be over written ?

    Township camp on School property.

    Township says must use school district insurance. School district refused claim.
     
  10. DDil

    DDil Law Topic Starter New Member

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    There was no organized game of with giant yoga ball. The child who threw the ball was filling around and felt bad about the accident.

    Thank you for your helpful thoughts thus far! Much appreciated!
     
  11. DDil

    DDil Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Yes agree it was an accident, but just need help paying Med/dental bills due to accident on their property (same if someone fell on property?). Really not trying to make $ on this. Can’t get an answer from school insurance why they denied claim.

    Thank you for all input!
     
  12. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    They denied the claim because they aren't liable. What did they do wrong?
     
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  13. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Active Member

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    Ler's say your grandson was playing at home with the mother two feet away and the same thing happened. Should the mother be considered a negligent parent?
     
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  14. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Just because it happened (which is unfortunate) doesn't mean anybody was negligent. And, frankly, I don't see any negligence (so far) which is what would have to be proved if your daughter wants money for her son's injury.

    She would be wise to consult a personal injury attorney and review her options.
     
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  15. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Did the boy deliberately hit your grandson?
     
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  16. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    It couldn't hurt to have a quick chat with one...but we're talking about under $1,000 here. It's a decent chunk of change on the personal level, but it's really not much money in the big scheme of things.
     
  17. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    I think it's important to emphasize that you weren't there when this happened and your daughter also probably wasn't there. Right? Therefore, your recitation of what happened is coming from second- or third-hand information. Right? For those reasons, I'm not willing to accept your conclusion that this happened "as a result of a lack of supervision.

    It's also important to emphasize that no reasonable level of supervision can prevent kids on a playground from getting hit in the face by balls.

    I'm not sure who "they" are, but it's obvious that no insurance company is responsible for your grandson's injury. Whether the school has responsibility depends on the relevant facts, virtually none of which are included in your post. It's possible that the relevant insurance policy contains a provision for payment of some amount (commonly $5-10k) for injuries suffered on the premises regardless of liability. It's also possible that this won't be the case here since the school may be self-insured or have different coverage than a normal commercial entity.

    What about your daughter's medical/dental insurance?

    Sure, "sometimes," but rarely.

    It seems to be a common myth that a property owner is automatically liable solely because an injury occurs on his/her/its property. That's not true, so yes, the situation you've mentioned is the same as if the injury had occurred on private property, but with the added element of a liability waiver.
     
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  18. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Public schools belong to school districts which are run and funded by local governments. Rules for suing a public school, or governmental agency, are more stringent than rules for suing a private entity. In the past, governmental agencies were immune to lawsuits under a rule called ‘Sovereign Immunity’. If the specific circumstance occurred because of a school employee’s negligence and resulted in an injury to a student, a case MIGHT be pursued against the school district depending upon unique circumstances.

    In Pennsylvania, IF your child is injured on public school property, you must abide by the Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act if you want to pursue a case against a government entity. The Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act allows a person to sue the local government under a FEW very limited situations including premises liability if an employee of the government was acting negligent. The government’s financial liability is limited to $250,000 to compensate an individual for their claim in Pennsylvania.

    Should you desire to bring a premises liability case against a local governmental entity, you must first file a written claim to the school district which will allow them to accept or deny the case before a lawsuit is filed. This claim must include all contact information of the victim, exact details of the accident and contact information for the victim’s medical professional. This written claim must be sent within six months from the incident. The government agency will have six months to either respond and deny your request or pay you some or all of the damages. If you have NOT heard from the school district after six months has elapsed, you have the right to continue filing your lawsuit.

    For a successful premises liability lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove three elements: the person who is being sued is the owner of the property, whoever was injured had reason to be on the property, and there must have been negligence on behalf of the person being sued.

    If the mother of the child wishes to embark down this road, she would be wise to discuss the incident with at least three local attorneys. Most attorneys offer free, no obligation consultations. I hope the child has recovered or is recovering from his injuries.
     
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  19. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm sorry to hear about your child's injury and the costs which are escalating. Certainly it's an alarming problem and hope your child is recovering, which is most important.

    A couple of issues that summarize the above. My understanding is that a summer camp ("Camp") was operating a day camp on the property of a school ("School") which it was likely renting. You're not claiming that there was any negligence of the school which caused the damage. You're claiming that your child was injured during the camp's operation when another child threw a ball at your child which caused her to fall and hit her head and teeth on the ground, causing the injury. Your understanding is that, had the camp had adequate supervision, the other child would not have been able to throw the ball at your child causing the injury.

    The first problem with your claim against the school is answered above - they aren't liable for what happened. Just because the injury occurred on their premises doesn't mean them or their insurance company will pay for the injury. Why should they pay for every accident? Understand that what the law tries to accomplish is decide WHO should pay for the costs of an accident which may occur. What would be just? If the school did nothing wrong, then the cost of the misfortune appears to be borne by the party suffering it.

    Now let's talk about the camp. What you're talking about is likely the injury waiver where you agree that the entity / camp is not liable even in the case of negligent acts by their employees. But the truth is that we do not know exactly what that waiver states and it is most important that you read that waiver.

    Not all waivers are enforceable. Often waivers of gross negligence are unenforceable. Waivers of general negligence may be enforceable and determination is made according to the rules established under state law. In some states a waiver must contain certain elements in order to be enforceable such as being clear, unambiguous and conspicuous. So I urge you to look at the waiver before you even consider speaking to the camp about compensation.

    As always, speaking to a licensed personal injury attorney would likely be the best route. Many give free consultations. I will inform you that it is common that injury lawyer firms will screen cases to ensure that, if you're expecting them to work on contingency (free and recover an award), there needs to be enough at issue for them to be properly compensated. Best of luck to you and your child.
     
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  20. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Just a note: OP is the grandparent trying to assist his/her daughter.
     

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