My son was injured due to negligent supervision by YMCA staff...

by Semi

My son is 4 years old. He tripped and fell when he was running in the school's after school program which is managed by the staff from YMCA. His bones in the left front arm were broken.

Today a student from the school told my wife: "It is the fourth time the same accident happened. Most time they (YMCA staff) sit on the floor and play their phones."

I am wondering if there is a chance YMCA will cover the medical bills? Are they liable or negligent since the staff was not supervising the children properly? What are our option here? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "My son was injured due to negligent supervision by YMCA staff...":

Semi (Texas):

It is likely before the YMCA agreed to permit your son on the premises, you signed the YMCA's Release and Waiver of Liability and Indemnity Agreement. A typical YMCA Release and Waiver of Liability and Indemnity Agreement reads as follows...

"The undersigned hereby assumes full responsibility for, and risk of bodily injury, death or property damage to the undersigned or such children due to negligence, active or passive, of releases or otherwise, or about or upon the premises of the YMCA and/or while using the premises or any facilities or equipment thereon or participating in any program affiliated with the YMCA."

The Agreement has within it additional language indemnifying the YMCA from liability for injuries to children while on the premises.

Presuming you signed the Agreement, you have little, if any legal recourse. However, there is an exception which can supersede the Agreement. If it can be shown the YMCA employees were grossly negligent in the application of their duties, or that they acted with malice or with wanton disregard for the safety of your child, then the Agreement may be "pierced," and the YMCA may be liable for your son's injuries and related costs.

From the facts you present, while there is evidence of negligence when some of the employees were using their phones, that negligence does not appear to rise to the level of gross negligence, malice aforethought, or a wanton disregard for the safety of your child.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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