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My 13 year old daughter had a really bad accident at school and I am trying to determine if a lawsuit is justified.

Mentor, OH |

My daughter is 13 and attends a private girls school. At the top of one of the publicly accessable stairways is a door to an attic that has no lock or keep out sign on the door. She went into the attic to explore and as she got farther in she stepped on a part of the floor that had no support and fell 15 feet into the next level down. She ended up with a concussion and a large laceration on her head that needed stitches. In addition,when a faculty member heard the fall and saw her head wound she told my daughter to walk to the nurses office. No one called an ambulance or made her lie still in case she had spinal injuries.She knew she shouldnt be there but to have an open door to an attic with no floor is pretty ridiculous ecspecially at a school. Do they have a legal defense at all?

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Filed under: Lawsuits and disputes
Attorney answers 1


As the owner of the premises, the school has the duty to exercise ordinary care to keep the property in reasonably safe condition. Whether or not they would be found liable (or partially liable) in a court of law depends on the foreseeability of the injury. Was it foreseeable that by not locking or placing a warning sign on the attic door that a student would enter and fall through the ceiling?

Other considerations include whether or not your daughter was negligent herself in exploring an area which may very well have appeared to be 'off limits' or difficult to access. A finding that your daughter was negligent could reduce or eliminate any damage award.

You'd be well served to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney in your area. Injury attorneys often will agree to meet with a prospective client to review their case for little to no cost. Best of luck to you.

Disclaimer: This does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship has been formed through this answer.