Jury Delivers Verdict Resulting in Overall Recovery of $10.75 Million for School Service Project-Related Injury
Congratulations to Kevin Biniazan and Scott Perry of Breit Biniazan for successfully holding a Charlottesville private boarding school accountable for the injury their 15-year-old plaintiff sustained during an unsafe mandatory school service project.
Plaintiff alleged that the school was negligent in initiating the service project by having an inexperienced teacher lead, what plaintiff claims, was an exercise that never should have been conducted in the first place. The school claimed that they acted within reasonable care with the selection and approval of the project, and while they were not perfect, they acted with reason.
The injury occurred while students were conducting a mandatory service project next to the Rivanna River. The students were tasked with cutting bamboo to create an overlook to the river. Prior to the students’ arrival, other volunteer organizations and individuals attempted to maintain the bamboo, but as a result, created spear-like bamboo canes that the students had to navigate. During the project, the plaintiff lost his footing and was impaled by a partially cut bamboo cane.
MediVisuals assisted with illustrating the plaintiff’s initial injuries and more than 10 surgeries to attempt to repair the significant physical internal injuries sustained by their client.
Before trial, the plaintiff settled his claims against the landowner for the sum total of $750,000. The trial against the school was disputed on liability and damages. Plaintiff called several witnesses to demonstrate that this was an unsafe activity with the use of dangerous equipment. Additionally, the plaintiff presented evidence of long-term physical and mental consequences of the injuries he sustained. The school contested the plaintiff’s claimed damages and their long-term effects.
The jury deliberated for four and a half hours and returned a verdict resulting in an overall recovery for the plaintiff of $10,750,000.