Archive for the ‘High School’ Category

O-U-C-H . . . . What’s That Spell?

October 24, 2007

Krathen v. School Board of Monroe County (Florida)
(High School Cheerleader Injured During Practice; Waiver and Release Signed by Parent Enforced, Negligence Claims Barred)

A high school student injured during a cheerleading practice brought a negligence action against the school board. She alleged that the school board was negligent in the following respects: (1) by failing to adequately supervise the cheerleading practice; (2) by conducting the practice without adequate preparation; (3) by using inexperienced or untrained personnel to supervise the practice; (4) by failing to place protective mats on the floor so as to cushion the impact; (5) by conducting the practice without the coach being present; and (6) by failing to abide by or follow appropriate school board policies and/or procedures relating to extracurricular activities. The defendant school board filed a motion for summary judgment based upon the “Consent and Release of Liability Certificate” signed by the cheerleader and her parents prior to her participation. The trial court granted the motion, and the cheerleader appealed.

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High School Daredevil

July 5, 2007

Benally v. Tacoma School District No. 10 (Washington)
(High School Student Leaning Over Railing Falls From Elevation; Triable Issue Regarding Condition of Premises Created Triable Issue of Material Fact and Trumped Application of Assumption of the Risk)

The plaintiff high school student and his friends congregated on a second story breezeway at Lincoln High School in Tacoma, Washington. His friends had previously warned plaintiff not to sit on the railing that protected students from falling approximately 20 feet to the ground below. Nonetheless, plaintiff sat on the railing during a lunch period, leaning backwards into space. As his friends had predicted, plaintiff lost his balance and fell to the concrete floor below, sustaining multiple serious injuries.

Plaintiff’s fall was linked to a square stone cap that sat on top of a pillar next to the stairs leading to the ground floor, which was described as a “heavy stone top.” In their depositions, two of his friends recounted that as plaintiff was leaning back, holding onto the stone cap with one hand and the railing with the other, the stone cap shifted as plaintiff fell. The school district filed a motion for summary judgment, which was granted by the court based upon primary implied assumption of the risk, and the plaintiff appealed.

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Gimme a W-A-I-V-E-R . . . What’s that Spell?!

July 2, 2007

Jestes v. Cleveland County Board of Education (North Carolina)
(High School Cheerleader Injured During Practice and Sued School Board; School Board was Partially Immune Pursuant to Government Immunity Statutes, But Waived Immunity in Part By Procuring Excess Liability Insurance)

A cheerleader, who was injured while participating in a cheerleading practice, brought a lawsuit against the school board and its cheerleading coach. The school board filed a motion for summary judgment, citing government immunity barring actions against the state, its counties, and its public officials sued in their official capacity. The trial court denied the motion in part and granted it in part, finding that the board was immune up to a certain dollar value, but that the board had waived its immunity above that value by procuring excess liability insurance coverage. The board appealed the ruling.

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