CA School District Settles Child Injury Lawsuit

CA School District Settles Child Injury Lawsuit

The Mark Twain Elementary School District agreed to settle a case involving allegations of teacher negligence which resulted in the near-drowning of a kindergarten boy.  This personal injury lawsuit was filed on behalf of the child’s parents, Terry and Leigh Allee.  The plaintiffs claim that kindergarten teacher Betty Hayes, failed to provide adequate supervision, thus, causing young James Allee to nearly drown at the school’s year-end swim party at the Hayes home in Angel’s Camp, California.  This party was held at the teacher’s home with the consent of the school district. 

The aggrieved parents of young James say they have agreed to settle the case out of court over concern about the rising legal fees of going to trial.  Mr. Allee states that all of the $15,000 settlement will go to cover medical expenses and legal costs.  The family reports frustration with their chosen attorney and the laws in California regarding school related injuries. 

The school district’s attorney believes they would have won, had the case gone to trial.  Attorney Luther Lewis planned to defend the school using a California Education Code statute which states, “All persons making the field trip or excursion shall be deemed to have waived all claims against the district of the State of California for injury, accident, illness, or death occurring during or by reason of the field trip or excursion.”

This California statute would undoubtedly provoke fear in most parents who allow their children to go on school outings each year.  This is a statute that most parents are not aware of when they send their children off on an excursion where they may not be properly supervised and protected. 

For families like the Allee family, just normal people who almost lost a young child, the current laws are inadequate and unjust.  “There’s no justice,” Terry Allee contends after years of court proceedings that ended unsatisfactorily for the aggrieved family.    


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