NJ Accident Lawyers’ Case. Boy’s Fingers Partially Amputated
Was there Careless Supervision by High School Coach?
Here’s a summary of a court decision in an NJ accident lawyers’ case.
Cameron participated in a weight-lifting program for high school football players. Frank, the football coach, supervised. Frank had the athletes participate in an activity referred to as “farmer’s walk.” It required two boys to hold the ends of a lifting bar.
The school claimed that the students carried 225 pounds in weights on a tile-floored hallway. Cameron stated that the weights were 300 to 320 pounds. And that the boys ran with them. They raced for the prize of early dismissal.
Cameron’s partner’s name was Christopher. Christopher stood about 6’1.” He weighed 195 to 200 pounds. In contrast, Cameron stood 5’7.” He weighed 175 to 180 pounds.
While carrying his end, Christopher slipped. This caused weights to fall on Cameron’s right hand. The weights partially amputated Cameron’s middle finger. They also severed the tip of his index finger.
Cameron was rushed to the hospital. A doctor reattached his middle finger. But the finger remained deformed. The tip of Cameron’s index finger couldn’t be reattached. The doctor made a partial repair, by pulling a skin flap over the severed nub. Still, the index finger remained disfigured.
Accident claims against public schools fall under the NJ Tort Claims Act. Therefore, Cameron’s NJ Accident lawyers served a tort claim notice within 90 days of the incident. The Tort Claims Act requires that.
Later, the NJ Accident lawyers filed a lawsuit. The suit claimed that the school failed to properly supervise the activity. Two boys of different height and weight shouldn’t have been paired.
NJ Accident Lawyers Oppose Efforts to Dismiss the Case.
The school filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
The judge decided that the activity was not within the common knowledge of jurors. Thus, Cameron needed an expert’s report to assist the jury in determining whether the school was careless.
However, Cameron’s NJ accident lawyers didn’t produce an expert’s report. They argued that no expert was necessary The activity in question, they contended, required no special knowledge. It would be understandable to jurors.
The judge further ruled that Cameron failed to prove that the school’s actions were “palpably unreasonable,” as required for a successful case under the Tort Claims Act. Just plain “negligence” wasn’t enough. Therefore, for both reasons, the judge dismissed the lawsuit.
Accordingly, Cameron’s NJ accident lawyers filed an appeal.
The appeals court noted that proof of a “palpably unreasonable” action is only required in cases where the claim concerns a dangerous condition on property. In contrast, Cameron’s claim was for careless supervision.
As to whether an expert report was needed, the appeals court also ruled for Cameron. It noted that a jury does not need a fire expert to explain the danger when a lit cigarette is thrown into a paper pile. Similarly, Cameron’s jury wouldn’t require expert guidance. Having two students of different heights and weights race with a weighted bar over tile floor is nothing esoteric.
Therefore, the appeals judges reinstated Cameron’s case (with some modifications). He will get his day in court.
I believe that the appeals court made the correct decision.
Please share this post: