My Child Got Hurt On A School Playground L Can I Sue?
As a personal injury lawyer, I recieve many questions from parents whose children were seriously injured at a playground at school. The questions range from “Was this playground equipment safe?” “Was it suitable for use for a child my son/ daughter’s age?” “Wasn’t a teacher supposed to monitor my child?” “Can I sue my school district?”
The question about whether the playground equipment was safe is a tricky question. The Consumer Product Safey Commission completed a study in 1972 finding that playground equipment was a major cause of serious injuries to children. Since, then much has been done to eliminate hard surfaces and poor drainage that caused many of those injuries. Unfortunately, many school districts have not updated their playground equipment or provided padding to surfaces on their blacktops.
Sometimes, it is not the fact that the equipment was poorly designed, but that is was poorly maintained or misused. There are cases with climbing ropes that were meant to be fastened on both ends that were only fastened on one end. Other cases involve rusty metal slides with sharp edges, or old seesaws with loose nuts or bolts. In these cases the school district failed to keep equiptment safe for children.
Another question is whether the equipment was suitable for your child. Equipment that is suitable for a 9-year-old may not be suitable for a 4-year-old. Signs should be prominently posted that state the appropriate age that children should be in order to use the equipment.
Sometimes, it is the failure of a teacher to properly monitor the students. Perhaps a teacher should have monitored the child who fell off the monkey bars or the child who improperly slid down the slide. In those cases, experts need to be consulted to determine the appropriate level of supervision.
Finally, the question that is on the mind of most parents whose children have been hurt on a school playground is whether or not they can sue their school district. In order to sue a school district in NY, a Notice of Claim needs to be filed within 90 days of the occurrence and a suit needs to be commenced within one year. Suits against school districts are very tough and judges are protective of school districts. Therefore, you need to obtain a lawyer who has successfully sued school districts. The skilled attorneys at The Law Offices of Jason B. Kessler are strong advocates for children who have been injured due to the negligence of others. He is an aggressive litigator who has taken on New York City School Districts.