Visitor Question

Broken Tooth During Gym Class…

Submitted By: Anonymous (USA)

My 7 year old son was told to hop during an activity in gym class at school, as were all the other kids. Another kid lost his balance and accidentally fell on my son, hitting him in the mouth with his head. Afterwards my son noticed that something was wrong when he moved his tongue around. He was missing about 3/4 of his front tooth.

The gym teacher was unaware of this until my son went running to her and told her. That’s when they started looking for his tooth. Now he needs a root canal and he is already in pain. Also, my son already has problems with self-esteem issues and I think he probably will never want to smile again. I believe the school and the gym teacher are responsible for not taking better safety measures. The kids in his gym class are 6 and 7 yrs of age.

Why did she have her back turned to the children when this happened? And why were the kids close enough to bump into each other? Can I sue the school? This happened on 2/08/2012. 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.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

You can sue anyone, at anytime, for anything. That doesn’t mean you will prevail.

In gym class there is often physical contact. That’s the nature of gym class. The main purpose of gym class is to provide exercise for children. Exercise can’t occur without movement. Movement without definition is vacuous. To exercise, whether running, jumping, or hopping, is to define one type of movement.

It’s bad enough most schools in the country have abandoned the game of “dodge ball”. That game had been around in gym classes for kids for at least 50 years.

You are concerned the “hopping” was ill-advised and inappropriate for your son. Hopefully you aren’t seeking to have hopping outlawed in elementary schools.

“Stuff happens” in gym class. When the gym coach had his head turned away he was probably watching some other children. And even if he wasn’t, he has only one head, and if he turned aside for a few moments and your son was hurt while “hopping” when another child accidentally bumped into him, you might consider taking a deep breath and think what you are asking for.

You want to know if you can sue the school because the children were “close enough to bump into each other”?

Go to the dentist. Have your son’s tooth repaired, and let him stand up for himself. Your desire to sue the school for a gym class injury arising out of hopping may be one of the reasons your son has “self-esteem” issues. Back off a bit and let him take care of himself. Maybe then he will rise above yours and his perceived inadequacies.

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: February 9, 2012

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