Our Client v. Confidential School District

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Our Client v. Confidential School District

$6 million recovery against school district for traumatic brain injury and negligent supervision of students.

An elementary school provided only 4 adults to supervise the conduct and activities of over 700 children on the playground before school classes began. This adult to student ratio was inadequate and the adults were unable to control the students. As a result, a large 3rd grade boy who was engaged in a prohibited game of tag, ran into our client, a small and frail 1st grade girl.

The collision knocked the 1st grader to the ground, and the back of her head slammed hard on the concrete surface. She sustained an occipital skull fracture and frontal intraparenchymal hematoma and subarachnoid hemorrhage.

The school did not have a health tech or nurse available before classes, so a secretary in the office examined the head, briefly observed the girl, then sent her to her first grade class. A severe headache developed and the girl was sent back to the office, where she was given ice and observed. About two hours after the trauma she lost consciousness and had a seizure, and finally 9-1-1 was called.

Our client was airlifted to UCSF where the diagnosis of traumatic brain injury was made, and appropriate treatment finally provided. She is left with cognitive deficits in short term memory and attention which interferes with learning. The frontal lobe damage will impede development of executive function. As a result, she will not likely be employable or live independently.

Expert witnesses were hired in areas of supervision, neurology, physical medicine, neuro-radiology, development neuropsychology, special education, life-care planning, vocational rehabilitation and economics.

The school district was liable to the plaintiff because it negligently failed to provide adequate supervision of its students, and negligently delayed obtaining necessary emergency medical care.

A structured settlement will provide the plaintiff with private special education and all of the necessary support she will need for the rest of her life.A structured settlement will provide the plaintiff with private special education and all of the necessary support she will need for the rest of her life.

Jeffrey R. Smith

Jeffrey R. Smith

Managing Partner

Robert B. Waldsmith

Robert J. Waldsmith

Partner, 1999

William B. Smith

William B. Smith

Partner, 1978

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