Visitor Question

15 year old dropped barbell on her head during weightlifting class…

Submitted By: Dave (Portland, OR)

My 15 year old daughter was injured during weightlifting class at school. Student spotters were never instructed in how to properly spot, the teacher was not actively monitoring to ensure students were spotting correctly, and my daughter dropped a barbell on her head.

She suffered a concussion, with daily pain and other symptoms for the past 16 months.

She’s seen lots of doctors, gotten tests, MRIs, etc.

I gave the school a tort claim notice within 6 months of the injury. The 24-month anniversary will be in February 2017.

The school turned it over to their insurance company, but they don’t seem to want to talk to me except for me bringing medical bills to them. There’s no talk of future medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of cognitive ability, etc.

Is there any way to get a settlement besides suing the school?

My understanding is that in Oregon, I have to file a tort claim notice within 6 months (which I did), then file any claim within 2 years. And I think the damages are capped at $3 million. What can be done in this situation? Thank you for any information you can provide.

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 Dave,

We will presume the school is public and not private. It appears you have taken all reasonable measures and have done so pursuant to Oregon’s Tort Claims Act.

However, the cap in damages to injuries to one (1) person in one (1) injury event is not capped at the $3,000,000 you suggest in your question. Instead, the cap for an injury occurring between July 1st, 2016 and July 1st 2017 is $691,200.

See Oregon Courts: Liability Limits

If the school district refuses to cooperate, you will need the services of an experienced personal injury attorney. At this point you have little or no leverage. If the school district and its insurance company continue to refuse to cooperate, you can’t do very much. Therefore you must seek the counsel of an injury attorney.

Most reputable personal injury attorneys will not charge any fees for an initial office consultation. Take copies of all your daughter’s medical bills and records, receipts for out of pocket expense, results of diagnostic exams, and any other documentation related to her injuries and treatment.

Once an attorney reviews the facts, he or she will be able to tell you the viability of your claim, what must be accomplished to settle that claim properly, and an estimate of what amount is fair for your daughter’s injuries, including her pain and suffering.

Learn more here: School Gym Class Injury Claims

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 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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