P.E. Teacher Liability for School Gym Trip & Fall


The injured party in this School Gym Trip & Fall Lawsuit was an eight grade student at Mahopac Middle School. His accident occurred while he was engaged with classmates in a game of soccer during gym class.

The soccer game was played only after the gym teacher had provided game and safety instructions to the students.

During the match, the injured student was running for the soccer ball and tripped over the leg of a student playing on the other team.

The injured student filed a lawsuit against the school and the student who allegedly tripped him. In the case, Scavelli v. Town of Carmel, NY Supreme Court, Putnam County, 316-11, the school gym trip & fall lawsuit was dismissed on appeal.  The appellate court’s decision was reported August 28, 2015.

The appellate judges found significant inconsistencies in the injured student’s version of events. At the time of the accident in 2010, the student made statements absolving the gym teacher and competing student of fault.

However, when the injured child testified at his deposition in 2012, his version of events changed to include a strong implication of wrongdoing by both the teacher and the fellow student.

Such inconsistencies left the student lacking in credibility as a witness.

It remains unknown whether the competing student intentionally tripped the injured student, or whether the injured student slipped or tripped on his own.

Regardless, the appellate court found there was no issue of negligence raised in the school gym trip & fall lawsuit, as the sportsmen’s collision resulted from the two children simultaneously running after the same soccer ball. These circumstances are an integral part of the game. Just because an injury occurs does not in itself mean somebody acted unreasonably.

The appellate judges in this case did not say the injured student was at fault. The events giving rise to this school gym trip & fall lawsuit simply unfolded too fast to assign fault at all. There was inadequate time for even the most attentive soccer coach to intervene and prevent the accident. Nor did it appear that more intensive pre-game instruction would have changed the unfortunate outcome of this athletic match up.

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School Gym Trip & Fall Lawsuit

School Gym Trip & Fall Ruling on Burden of Proof

This case highlights the need to take witness statements and timely document the circumstances of a slip / trip & fall.

If your child has been injured in a school gym trip & fall, speak with a school gym trip & fall lawsuit attorney about obtaining compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering.

We represent victims of sporting accidents in New York, Brooklyn Bronx Queens & beyond.  Call our trip and fall lawyer for a free claim review today.


About NYC Injury Attorneys

Michael Hurwitz, Esq. is the managing member of The Hurwitz Law Firm, PC, and is a personal injury attorney representing accident victims in Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Manhattan and throughout the New York City region.

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