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Fatal School Gym Accident Raises Safety Questions

On Behalf of | Jan 15, 2015 | Premises Liability

Parents throughout the country were shocked and saddened to learn of a fatal accident at a New Jersey school last week.

A 7-year-old boy was playing soccer when the ball struck a bench that folded into the wall. As he went to retrieve the ball, the bench fell out of its holding spot and struck his head. He died while being transported to the ER.

Like many elementary schools in New York, the gymnasium doubled as a cafeteria when the benches and tables were brought down out of the walls, similarly to a Murphy bed. When the tables and benches are folded into the walls, they are secured in a “locked” position with a key.

In 2012, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (USPSC) warned that in-wall tables and benches caused numerous deaths and injuries in schools.

The fatal gym accident is still under investigation, but it appears that someone forgot to lock the bench or the lock malfunctioned. The findings will determine what party is liable for the student’s accidental death.

School and daycare accidents usually involve minor injuries like scrapes or bruises, but when serious injury or death occurs, it can be extremely difficult for parents to uncover what or who truly caused the harm. Sometimes, more than one party can be held liable.

To learn more about school and daycare injuries, visit here. If your child has been seriously harmed at a daycare or school, it is important to contact a skilled personal injury attorney as soon as possible.


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