Kathy Morgan, the mother of 13-year old Kaileigh Morgan, a seventh grade student at Brooklawn Middle School has filed a lawsuit on May 13 against the Parsippany Board of Education, claiming the negligence in having students play touch football on a wet field during an early-morning gym class on Thursday, October 24, 2013, resulted in her daughter suffering permanent ankle injury.
Kaileigh sustained permanent loss of a bodily function and permanent disfigurement.
Kaileigh sustained serious injuries including, but not limited to, anavulsion fracture involving the lateral aspect of the distal tibial epiphyses anteriorly with gapping to the articular surface measuring approximately 5 mm which fracture was slightly displaced anteriorly with a non-displaced salter-harris 2 fracture though the distal fibula requiring open reduction and internal fixation surgery with an insertion of a metal screw.
They have incurred medical expenses as a consequence, and did suffer great pain, disability, mental anguish and because of the permanency of her injuries will also suffer in the future. She was obligated to incur and expend large sums of money for hospital and medical attention in an attempt to treat and heal herself of the injuries; she was obligated to abstain from her usual work and pursuits and was injured and damaged in other respects, the lawsuit stated.
The lawsuit also states for two and half weeks prior to the October 24 incident, the gym teacher (who was also named as a defendant) took the first period class, of which Kaileigh was a part of, outside to play two hand touch football on a grass field that she knew was wet and slippery, and, during this time, multiple students fell and sustained minor injuries.
“But when a teacher is aware of a dangerous condition that exists and watches children fall as a result of that condition for weeks with a sufficient time to remedy the problem and does nothing allowing this injury to occur, then that is negligence” according to the family’s attorney, Christopher Musmanno. He continued “Kaileigh’s ankle has metal and screws in it and is terribly disfigured.”
On October 24, at 8:45 a.m., Morgan was participating in two hand touch football on a wet and slippery grass surface and while being chased by another student during the course of the game because she had the ball in her hand, she tried to cut and slipped and fell seriously injuring her left ankle. Each students’ shoes were soaking wet because of the condition of the wet field which was the case for the two and half weeks prior and the grass on the field had not been cut for several days preceding the injuries to Kaileigh, according to the complaint.
The lawsuit filed in Morris County Superior Court also names Brooklawn Middle School and the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills as defendants, in addition to the Parsippany Board of Education and the gym teacher.
According to NJ.com, Township Attorney John Inglesino said the township has not cut the grass at the field for at least seven years, so it has no liability in this lawsuit and probably won’t be involved in it for long.
“This is an unfortunate injury, but one that occurred on school property, during school and during class,” Inglesino said.
The school district has “no comment” on the suit because it’s a “confidential matter.”