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Defense Verdict in Pre-School Accident Case

August 20, 2015

A Los Angeles jury returned a verdict in favor of Pacific Coast Montessori school, represented by Murchison & Cumming attorney Nanette G. Reed.

In the case, Angelea Fredrick, a 3 ½ year old student at Pacific Coast Montessori, broke her leg during an earthquake as the students were being ushered to safety. The plaintiff alleged that she was hit by another student as he was sliding down or jumping off a slide. No adult witnessed the actual contact. The plaintiff contended the school failed to properly supervise the students (California Code of regulations Title 22, Section 101229) and as a result she sustained a nondisplaced fracture to her right leg. There was a second claim that the school personnel delayed in calling emergency services to wait for the parents’ arrival and therefore failed to provide medical attention to a student (California Code of Regulations, Title 22, Section 101226).

The jury found that school staff properly supervised the plaintiff under the circumstances and there was no negligence on the part of the school or any employees that resulted in plaintiff’s accident and injury. The jury found against the Department of Social Services interpretation of Title 22 code section that visual observation requires 100% total eye contact/observation with each child at all times. The jury further found that school personnel did not unreasonably delay in seeking medical attention.