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ARTICLE ID 192186

$________ POLICY LIMIT – NEGLIGENT SUPERVISION – USE OF MONKEY BARS ALLEGEDLY INAPPROPRIATE FOR FIVE-YEAR-OLD AND KINDERGARTEN CLASSMATES – EXCESSIVE NUMBER OF CHILDREN ON MONKEY BARS – INFANT PLAINTIFF FALLS AND STRIKES LEFT ARM ON EXPOSED WOODEN BEAM – SEVERE FRACTURE OF LEFT HUMERUS – VOLKSMAN ISCHEMIC CONTRACTURE INVOLVING EXTENSIVE DIFFICULTIES WITH USE OF HAND.

Hudson County, NJ

The plaintiff contended that the defendant private daycare center negligently permitted the five-year old students to use monkey bars, which the plaintiff maintained were inappropriate to use by such young children. The plaintiff further maintained that there was inadequate supervision. The plaintiff contended that as the petite five-year-old infant plaintiff fell and landed on an exposed wooden beam that was part of the equipment, heightening the hazard. The infant plaintiff suffered a displaced fracture of the distal humerus, required numerous surgeries and also suffered an ischemic injury that resulted in great difficulties using the left, non-dominant hand and fingers.

The plaintiff maintained that during scheduled playtime on the school playground, the infant plaintiff was attempting to traverse the monkey bars from one platform to another platform was unable to get to the platform because there were too many students on the platforms and the monkey bars, causing her to let go and fall, landing on her left arm.

The plaintiff’s early childhood/child development expert and the plaintiff’s certified playground safety inspector opined that the defendant was negligent in allowing the plaintiff and her classmates to engage in an activity that was developmentally inappropriate for their age. The plaintiff further contended that there was inadequate supervision and that the defendant should have posted a teacher or other adult in close proximity to the equipment.

The plaintiff’s experts contended that the equipment was dangerously assembled and that the defendant left a wooden beam exposed on the ground under the equipment. The defendant contended that the equipment was appropriate and that the supervision was adequate. The defendant denied that an excessive number of other students were on the platform.

The plaintiff’s orthopedic surgeon would have testified that the infant plaintiff suffered a displaced fracture at the supracondylar level of the left humerus, resulting in multiple surgeries over the course of several years. The physician would have related that the surgeries included an open reduction with pin fixation. The physician would have also related that the child suffered Volkmann’s ischemic contracture. Relating that because of the crush nature of the fractures near the elbow, there was inadequate blood flow to the hand. The physician would have related that the infant plaintiff required lengthening of the flexor tendons in the left forearm with tendon transfers. The physician would have also testified that because of a recurrence of the contracture, the child endured repeat lengthening of flexor tendons of the left forearm.

The physician would have also testified that following each surgical intervention, the infant plaintiff had to go through extensive physical and occupational therapy. The physician maintained that despite the surgical interventions and therapy, the child has been left with significant permanent limited mobility and weakness in the left elbow. The plaintiff maintained that this condition is permanent and that the plaintiff will have difficulties with everyday tasks otherwise taken for granted over the course of a lengthy life expectancy.The case settled for $________, defendant’s policy limits, at mediation. There was no excess coverage or potential assets for satisfying a judgment.

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