Schools have a responsibility to keep students safe. In fact, according to the law, the owners and operators of all properties have a legal responsibility to prevent avoidable accidents on their premises. The original purpose of premises liability laws was to protect customers injured in accidents at retail stores, guest injured at hotels, patrons injured at restaurants, and the like. Premises liability laws also apply when a guest gets injured at a social gathering at a private residence, and even when a trespasser gets injured on private property, but in these instances, the premises owner has a smaller legal responsibility to compensate the injured person for damages caused by the accident. One can hardly imagine a situation where the operators of the premises have a greater legal and moral responsibility to ensure the safety of visitors to the premises than the responsibility of schools to prevent injuries to students. If you have suffered injuries in an accident at a school or other public place, contact a South Florida premises liability lawyer.
Trinity Harmon’s Lawsuit Against Seminole Ridge High School
In the fall of 2016, Trinity Harmon was a 15-year-old student at Seminole Ridge High School and a member of the school’s Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) program. At one of the first physical training classes of the school year, students were told to move a 500-pound tractor tire, but they did not receive any instructions on how to move it safely. While Harmon and several classmates were moving the tire, it fell on her legs, causing multiple fractures to her feet and ankles. Treatment for the injuries cost her $103,000.
Harmon’s parents hired an attorney, who attempted to negotiate a settlement with the Palm Beach County School Board. The school board’s general counsel approved a $200,000 settlement, and school board members were supposed to vote on the settlement at their meeting on September 18, 2019. The matter of the settlement was removed from the meeting’s agenda, and no vote took place. The following week, Harmon and her family filed a lawsuit against the school. Harmon still attends Seminole Ridge High School and is expected to graduate in 2020.
More Trouble at Seminole Ridge High
This is not the first time a Seminole Ridge student has been seriously injured in an accident; it is not even the first accident to involve a tractor tire. In 2013, Dustin Reinhardt was repairing a tractor tire in auto shop class, when it exploded and hit him in the face, blinding him in his right eye. He later received a $4.7 million settlement.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
If you have been injured by a tractor tire or any other piece of equipment that the owner of the equipment had a responsibility to maintain, you may have grounds for a premises liability lawsuit. If the accident was at a public school, you may be able to recover damages from the school district. Contact Palm Beach County premises liability lawyer Scott Smith for a consultation.