1st Department: Department of Education found not to be liable for School Playground injury

When a student is injured in school, we must look at the facts before determining whether the school is liable for the occurrence.

The Appellate Division, 1st Department, ruled on May 7th that the Department of Education was not responsible for a schoolyard injury based on lack of teacher supervision.  A child was cause to suffer an injury when his classmate through a balloon filled with water at him.  The student turned away to avoid being struck by the balloon and then ran into a pole, causing facial injuries.

The student alleged that there was insufficient supervision at the playground and that was the reason for his injuries.  The teacher (admittedly) was not in the area when the accident took place, but the Court decided that although the teacher was negligence, his negligence essentially was not the cause of the accident.  The spontaneous act of the other student could not have been prevented (with or without a teacher being present).

The case name is “Jorge C, an Infant, versus City of New York and Department of Education“, p. 23, column 5, NYLJ, May 7, 2015.