Last week a Nassau County Supreme Court Justice dismissed a lawsuit against the Sewanhaka Central High School brought on behalf of a student who seriously injured himself while engaged in some hallway horseplay. In an attempt to simulate a basketball "slam dunk" the student jumped up over the head of another student to slap the wall. He missed the wall. Instead, the student slapped a glass display panel door which shattered and lacerated the student's hand. Plaintiff's counsel argued that the panel should have been constructed of safety glass per State codes and that the school failed to properly supervise the student's gathered at the accident site.
The Court rejected plaintiff's claim holding that: 1) the glass panel was not inherently dangerous and the State code relied on applied only to gymnasiums and playrooms - not hallways; 2) there was no proof submitted that the school was aware of any dangerous condition presented by the glass panel; 3) plaintiff had not presented evidence that "more intense supervision would have prevented the accident" which occurred in less than 7 seconds; and, 4) the student's conduct was unreasonable, unforeseeable and unpreventable. R.B. v Sewanhaka Cent. High Sch. Dist., Sup. Ct., Nassau County, Index No. 605410/18