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District 7 settles playground injury lawsuit for $100,000

THURSDAY, JANUARY 31, 2019 • DAILY COURIER, Grants Pass, Oregon

By Chris Bristol of the Daily Courier

The Grants Pass School District will pay $100,000 to settle a lawsuit over a playground injury at one of the city’s elementary schools.

According to court records, the injury occurred in October 2016 when a 5-year-old student at Redwood Elementary fell in the playground area during recess and struck her chin on a protruding tree root. The injury left the girl, now 7, with an inch-long jawline scar that causes the girl’s facial expressions to be “asymmetrical,” according to a settlement document. Per the settlement, one third of the proceeds will go to the family’s Medford law firm of Black, Chapman, Petersen, Stevens. After subtracting other costs of just over $7,800, the net proceeds of nearly $59,000 was to be placed into a restricted account for the girl.

The lawsuit was one of two filed against District 7 in recent months. The other suit, filed in November, alleges negligence after a student broke her arm attempting to give a larger male student a piggyback ride during a PE class exercise. The lawsuit contends the piggyback exercise was a bad idea. The PE teacher is named individually, along with the school district. That suit — also filed by Black, Chapman — is still active. It seeks at least $28,000 in medical costs and other damages, plus $350,000 in non-economic damages.

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