Son had broken humerus bone just below ball of shoulder...
(Saint Paul, MN)
I got a call from the school nurse at 3:45pm saying my son, a 2nd grader, had fallen while dancing in music class and hurt his arm. She said he couldn't hold his right arm out without severe pain. She had him lay and sit in her office with ice on it and a gauze sling. His pain didn't let up so she called me to pick him up.
I had let her know I was 20 mins away still, but would be there as soon as humanly possible. Upon my arrival the nurse, another staff member, and my son were standing outside the school waiting. Everyone else was gone by then.
My son was sweating profusely and shivering/shaking, which I was later told by the urgent care Dr was because he was in shock.
Upon asking my son what happened while driving to urgent care, he said that it was the end of music class and the teacher had them just doing free dance/play. Kids were doing cartwheels and jumps. He tried a handstand and fell onto his arm, breaking the humerus bone just below the ball of the shoulder, very noticeably on x-ray.
He could not move his arm in any way and was in excruciating pain just to get x-rays done. Just driving to urgent care every stop or turn of the vehicle hurt his arm horribly. He has been referred to a Children's Orthopedic specialist and may be looking towards surgery to pull the bone back in place, because it is more than 50% out of alignment.
I am wondering if the nurse should have called for paramedics because he was in so much pain and in shock? And to have him standing waiting outside for me to pick him up instead of keeping him in a comfortable stable position while waiting at least?
And the music teacher allowing the students to do jumps, flips, cartwheels, handstands in a class room, without any spotters or physical education teachers to observe for their safety...is that negligent?
My heart breaks for my child. First and foremost because he is in so much pain, unable to be comfortable enough to sleep, even with the medicine urgent care gave him. But also now I will have to cancel his summer swimming and gymnastics classes along with other planned activities that he has been looking forward to for so long now.
Does any of this fall under any laws or qualify as a liability claim? Thank you for any information you can give.
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ANSWER for "Son had broken humerus bone just below ball of shoulder...":
Jennifer (Saint Paul, MN):
When speaking of a liability claim, you are most likely asking whether the school district should be held liable for your son's injuries and his (and your) resulting damages. Here's a more in-depth look at everything you can claim for damages.
From the facts you present, the music teacher may have been negligent in permitting students to do flips and cartwheels in a classroom setting.
Additionally, the nurse may also have displayed negligence in failing to diagnose an obvious fracture. This is especially true if the nurse was a Registered Nurse. Registered nurses must undergo substantial training in the care of those who may be injured.
The next question is the legal duty of the school to compensate you for your damages and those of your son. This will be tricky. It's likely the school district will not admit to negligence displayed by the music teacher and the nurse. If they will not accept liability, consider speaking with local attorneys whose practice concentrates in school law.
Most reputable attorneys will not charge for an initial office consultation. After reviewing the facts further, an attorney will get a good idea of the viability of your claim and chances of success in settling the matter, or having to file a lawsuit.
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,
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