Visitor Question

Do I have a gross negligence claim against my son’s school?

Submitted By: Anonymous (Arenas Valley, New Mexico)

My 7 year old son fell off the monkey bars at school. He was sent to the nurse’s office, given an ice pack and sent back to class. The school did not notify me of the accident.

When I picked my son up after school, I took him to the ER because it was obvious something was wrong. His teacher said he fell, and he was holding a warm melted ice pack that he was holding. It turned out that his arm was broken in 2 spots.

The school should have contacted me so my son could have received medical attention immediately instead of dismissing him and sending him back to class with his injury. I found an article on this website that states…

An example of gross negligence or a wanton disregard for safety in a similar situation might be a school employee seeing a fractured bone protruding and with that knowledge, failed to seek immediate medical attention for the student. Or if a student was injured and lost consciousness and a school employee told the injured student to sleep, and failed to contact the student’s parents or to call 911.”

Do I have a case against the school for gross negligence?

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,

Based on the facts you presented, there is a legitimate question of gross negligence or a wanton disregard for your son’s safety and well-being. However, there are some factual questions which need to be addressed.

When it comes to fractured bones, the pain suffered by an injured party is normally unbearable. This would be especially true in the case of two broken bones to the same arm of a child. The child would barley be able to move his arm, and if the child did, it would only be with excruciating pain, causing the child to cry out. Yet, there is no mention of your son crying out, or not being able to move his arm. Something just doesn’t sound right.

It is fair to say if the teacher heard your son crying out in terrible pain, and saw he was unable to move his arm, and the teacher simply put an ice pack on your son’s arm and did no more, it certainly would have been a display of gross negligence and a wanton disregard for your son’s safety and well-being.

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: October 19, 2017

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