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Structural defect accident: 4-year-old severs finger in school

October 17, 2011 Premises Liability

On behalf of Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP

On September 27, a 4-year-old girl in pre-kindergarten at a Staten Island public school lost a part of two fingers when she tried to go to the bathroom. Premises liability is an area of the law focusing on structural defect accidents, slip and fall injury as well as other forms of negligence by a landowner or other person or entity in possession of certain real property.

In this instance, the accident occurred when the little girl tried to enter a unisex bathroom in her classroom. A boy was exiting as the girl entered, and her fingers got stuck in the door jamb, and part of her index finger as well as a smaller portion of her middle finger were severed in the accident. It earned her an ambulance trip with a police escort to New York County’s Bellevue Hospital.

The school nurse tended to the 4-year-old while EMS and her parents were notified. The mother apparently arrived at the school shortly thereafter, was comforted and was presumably rushed to the hospital by authorities. No further word on the child’s condition was available.

For a parent there is not much worse than receiving a telephone call from someone else to tell them their child has been seriously injured. The first thoughts, of course, are for the full recovery of the girl. Understandably, the parents will want to know exactly what happened. Negligence issues may exist concerning lack of proper supervision and care as well as unsafe conditions causing or contributing to a structural defect accident involving the operation of the bathroom door. While authorities will likely conduct their own investigation, the parents would be wise to consult an attorney in or near New York County who is devoted to handling personal injury claims and litigation arising out of premises liability.

Source: The Silive.com, “4-year-old loses part of finger in accident at Staten Island’s PS 11,” Jillian Jorgensen, Sept. 27, 2011