Kindergartner Awarded $170,000 Settlement After Injury on Playground

A kindergartner who suffered undisclosed injuries to her arm and hand more than five years ago on a slide at a school playground is the beneficiary of a $170,000 settlement. The injuries were referred to by her lawyer as cuts and “some scarring.” The lawyers brought a personal injury lawsuit in Monmouth County Superior Court alleging that the girl was injured at Griebling School in Howell Township during recess on a slide that was too steep. According to NJ.com, given the angle of the slide, she was said to have traveled down it at an “excessive rate of speed.” She fell off and suffered injuries to her right arm and hand.

The Applicable Safety Standards

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standards are published in the Handbook for Public Playground Safety, and it recommends that the average incline on a slide shouldn’t be more than 30 degrees. As per the girl’s personal injury lawsuit, the slide at Griebling School was 35.2 degrees. The CPSC slide safety guidelines were upgraded about seven years prior to the girl’s fall. The lawsuit alleged a failure to upgrade the slide at issue with the applicable standards.

The Net Proceeds from Settlement

Court documents indicate that pursuant to New Jersey law, most of the net proceeds from the settlement will be accessible when she turns 18 years of age. Legal fees were $43,563. About $16,000 of outstanding medical bills will be paid from the settlement proceeds.

The settlement was entered into in August of 2019. A school district representative commented that the slide in question is still on school property, but it is no longer accessible by children. The attorney for the girl remarked that he hoped “that a little bit of extra effort would go into taking care of playgrounds.”

Lee McFarland

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I write about current events which affect attorneys.