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My 3 year old daughter broke her arm after falling off a climbing structure made for 5 year olds at her preschool during recess. Can I sue the preschool?

 

A:

Yes.  Depending on the circumstances and facts surrounding your daughter’s fall, the preschool may be responsible for your daughter’s broken arm and other injuries for several reasons.  I would need more information, such as how many children were on the playground, how many teachers were on the playground, etc. to properly evaluate your case.  However, I can provide a couple of situations where the school will be held responsible.

Since your daughter is only 3 years old, she obviously should not have been climbing on a play structure that is made for a 5 year old.  There are 2 ways the school may be liable.  First, if the teacher did not know that the structure should only be used by 5 years olds but let your daughter on there anyway, then the school is liable.  The teacher should have known that a 3 year old should not be climbing a structure made for a 5 year old.  The school should have provided proper training to the teacher about which structures 3 year olds can use.  Therefore, if the school did not provide training, then the school may be responsible. 

However, even if the school did provide proper training and the teacher forgot about it, the school may still be responsible for your daughter's injuries.

The second way the school may be liable is if there was inadequate supervision on the playground.  For example, if there was only 1 teacher supervising 20 kids on the playground, the school may be responsible. 

Pursuant to the law in Pennsylvania, 55 Pa. Code § 3270.51 (Similar age level) requires 1 teacher or staff member to supervise and watch over a maximum of 10 preschool kids.  Therefore, if there were 20 preschool kids on the playground during recess, there should have been 2 staff members supervising.

When there is an inadequate number of staff members watching and supervising 3 year olds, accidents are going to happen. It is foreseeable that 3 year olds may hurt themselves.

Your daughter may be entitled to recover financial damages.  If you would like to discuss your daughter's accident and explore her legal rights, feel free to call 877.944.8396 to schedule a free initial consultation.

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