Visitor Question

Broken Fibula and Tibia at School…

Submitted By: Anonymous (Massachussets, USA)

My 11yr old son broke his leg in gym class. The nurse called me and told me that he hurt his leg and needed to be seen by a doctor. I went to the school thinking that he twisted his ankle or something. He was in a wheel chair and in pain when I arrived. She told me to bring my car to the front door, then wheeled him out and put him in my car as he was crying.

I asked her, how serious is this? Does he have a broken leg? He had ice packs on, so I couldn’t see the leg. The nurse replied, “yes I think there is definitely something there”. So I left to go to the ER. He was crying in the passenger seat, trying to hold his leg steady, every bump and turn I took he screamed in horrible pain.

I looked over at his leg and could see the bone bulging out the side of his leg under his skin and his foot was not facing the right direction. After the 15m ride with him screaming we got to the hospital, 2 EMT’s had to get him out of the car. They could not splint the leg first because there was not enough room.

The EMT’s were extremely upset that the nurse put him in my car, as were all the doctors that saw him that day. They loaded him up with morphine, x-rayed and splinted him, then put us in the ambulance to Boston Children’s Hospital.

He broke the Fibula and Tibia bones seriously, they were completely out of line. He had to be sedated and fixed. The doctors do not know if they will have to repeat the process again on Tuesday and they were all very puzzled as to how he could of done that much damage in a gym.

I know that there is no way to say if more damage was done by him being moved three times with an unstable leg, but that poor little boy went through 45 extra minutes of horrible pain that was not necessary if the nurse had just called 911. The gym teacher told my daughter yesterday that he knew it was broken as soon as he looked at it.

Is there any kind of a case here? I feel that an injustice was done. Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Anonymous,

There seems to be no doubt the nurse, and by law the school district, made a terrible mistake. The nurse, especially if she was a registered nurse, should have called an ambulance almost immediately, especially if your son’s bone was protruding from his skin.

The nurse’s action was in all manner of law wrong.

You do have a legal claim against the nurse and the school district. Inasmuch as the nurse may not have many assets to pursue, the school district should be the entity you should consider filing a claim against.

The pain and suffering your son unnecessarily endured as a result of the nurse’s incompetence is definitely substantial enough for a successful lawsuit.

Consult with a local personal injury attorney. Most do not charge any legal fee for an initial office consultation.

Bring to the attorney’s office as many of your son’s medical records as possible.

Once you sit with the attorney you will have a much better idea of the merits of the case and the probability of your prevailing in a legal action.

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

Best of luck,

Published: November 24, 2011

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