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Erie County

The plaintiff contended that the teachers of the public school kindergarten, who took the class on a winter outing in which they rode sleds down a hill situated across the street from the school, negligently chose a hill that was very dangerous because of the presence of a metal fence very close to the bottom of the hill. The plaintiff contended that as a result, the infant plaintiff, who was the first member of the class to go down the hill, crashed into the fence, suffering a severe fracture to the distal femur near the knee. The plaintiff contended that a growth plate on one side of the knee became naturally fused, that the p 7 3 infant plaintiff will probably suffer some degree of angulation as he grows, and that he will experience very substantial pain and suffering experienced throughout a lengthy life expectancy. The plaintiff’s recreational expert maintained that it is essential that a hill used for sledding have a sufficient area at the bottom that is either flat or has some degree of reverse inclination. The plaintiff contended that the 40-foot hill had a fence situated very close to the bottom, and that the use of this hill was very dangerous. The defendant’s recreational expert maintained that the hill was sufficiently safe for sledding. The defendant also contended that other classes have used the hill without incident. The plaintiff requested that the jury be taken to the scene for a view and the court concurred. The plaintiff argued that the jury could readily determine that the conclusions of the plaintiff’s expert should be accepted.

The plaintiff’s orthopedist related that the infant plaintiff suffered a severely displaced fracture to the distal femur and that a pin was placed on either side of the knee. The infant plaintiff missed three months from school. The plaintiff’s orthopedist maintained that the medial growth plate on the side of the knee has partially fused and that the lateral growth plate was not affected. The expert maintained that it is highly likely that the child will suffer some degree of angulation as he grows.

The physician also related that the infant plaintiff will probably require a series of surgeries, including an osteotomy and a knee replacement. The defendant’s orthopedist denied that the growth plate was affected. The orthopedist did not dispute that the fracture was severely displaced. The plaintiff also argued that signs of a natural fusion could be observed on MRI.

The jury found for the plaintiff and awarded $________, including $________ for past medical bills, $________ for past pain and suffering, $________ for future medical bills and $________ for future pain and suffering over 65.3 years.

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