News

Elementary student who was injured on playground to receive $200K settlement

School board unanimously approves agreement

The Palo Alto Unified School District has agreed to pay $200,000 to an Ohlone Elementary School student injured on a campus playground in 2018. Photo by Veronica Weber.

The Palo Alto school district has agreed to pay $200,000 to an Ohlone Elementary School student who was injured while playing on the campus' playground in 2018.

The school board unanimously approved the settlement agreement with the boy's family during a closed session on Tuesday, President Todd Collins announced when the open session began. The settlement, which is not an admission of liability, will be paid in full by the district's Joint Powers Authority (JPA).

The family's lawyer declined to comment on the settlement.

The boy's family filed a lawsuit in April 2019, alleging the district was negligent and failed to properly maintain safe conditions on school property.

During a class exercise in April 2018, the boy was playing ball with a "funnel catching device" in a sandbox surrounded by a concrete curb. He slipped on excess sand and fell face first into the curb, causing "serious trauma" to his head, face and teeth, according to the lawsuit.

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"The close proximity" of the sandbox and concrete curb, "combined with the foreseeability that children are likely to slip and fall during the vigorous play that the funnel catcher encourages and the foreseeability that sand could spill over from the sandbox and make the surface even more slippery made this area of the public property dangerous," the complaint reads.

The lawsuit alleges the district "made the condition more dangerous and likely to cause harm" by not cleaning up excess sand. It also alleges that other children had previously been injured under similar circumstances.

The lawsuit includes 100 unnamed defendants who "breached their duty of care to (the student) by negligently, carelessly, recklessly and otherwise unlawfully creating a dangerous condition on the school playground."

Under the settlement agreement, the district's Joint Powers Authority will immediately pay a lump sum of $89,406 and then $5,000 payments quarterly starting in the year 2032 until the entire amount is paid. The periodic payments begin when the student turns 20 years old, said Komey Vishakan, the district's general counsel.

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Elementary student who was injured on playground to receive $200K settlement

School board unanimously approves agreement

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, Sep 25, 2020, 9:38 am

The Palo Alto school district has agreed to pay $200,000 to an Ohlone Elementary School student who was injured while playing on the campus' playground in 2018.

The school board unanimously approved the settlement agreement with the boy's family during a closed session on Tuesday, President Todd Collins announced when the open session began. The settlement, which is not an admission of liability, will be paid in full by the district's Joint Powers Authority (JPA).

The family's lawyer declined to comment on the settlement.

The boy's family filed a lawsuit in April 2019, alleging the district was negligent and failed to properly maintain safe conditions on school property.

During a class exercise in April 2018, the boy was playing ball with a "funnel catching device" in a sandbox surrounded by a concrete curb. He slipped on excess sand and fell face first into the curb, causing "serious trauma" to his head, face and teeth, according to the lawsuit.

"The close proximity" of the sandbox and concrete curb, "combined with the foreseeability that children are likely to slip and fall during the vigorous play that the funnel catcher encourages and the foreseeability that sand could spill over from the sandbox and make the surface even more slippery made this area of the public property dangerous," the complaint reads.

The lawsuit alleges the district "made the condition more dangerous and likely to cause harm" by not cleaning up excess sand. It also alleges that other children had previously been injured under similar circumstances.

The lawsuit includes 100 unnamed defendants who "breached their duty of care to (the student) by negligently, carelessly, recklessly and otherwise unlawfully creating a dangerous condition on the school playground."

Under the settlement agreement, the district's Joint Powers Authority will immediately pay a lump sum of $89,406 and then $5,000 payments quarterly starting in the year 2032 until the entire amount is paid. The periodic payments begin when the student turns 20 years old, said Komey Vishakan, the district's general counsel.

Comments

Onrosewood
Registered user
Midtown
on Sep 25, 2020 at 11:28 am
Onrosewood, Midtown
Registered user
on Sep 25, 2020 at 11:28 am
4 people like this

How does $89,406 plus $20,000 (4 × $5,000 in 2032) add up to $200,000??

Or is it $20,000 paid four times for a total of $80,000 in 2032?

Still doesn't total $200,000.

I suspect the last paragraph is language taken directly from the press release. That doesn't make it clear.


Jim H
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 25, 2020 at 11:57 am
Jim H, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Sep 25, 2020 at 11:57 am
2 people like this

Probably $5000 quarterly UNTIL 2032,


Jim H
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 25, 2020 at 12:01 pm
Jim H, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Sep 25, 2020 at 12:01 pm
7 people like this

Does PA Weekly need to put that the settlement "is not an admission of liability"? When has the district EVER admitted fault?

So, kids had fallen and injured themselves in the same manner and nothing was changed? I guess back then the district was too busy figuring out how to rename the schools or how to cover up the latest sexual assault.


hkatrs
Registered user
Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Sep 25, 2020 at 12:04 pm
hkatrs, Leland Manor/Garland Drive
Registered user
on Sep 25, 2020 at 12:04 pm
2 people like this

It is so sad the District had not taken pro-active measures prior to any accident occurring at Ohlone Elementary School. Hopefully this Lawsuit will encourage the Palo Alto Unified School District to review every school campus' property for K-12 Student Safety and Welfare, then immediately renovate and repair.


Hope the student heals quickly!
Registered user
another community
on Sep 25, 2020 at 1:58 pm
Hope the student heals quickly!, another community
Registered user
on Sep 25, 2020 at 1:58 pm
15 people like this

I wonder how much they will pay out in COVID lawsuits once they reopen schools.


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