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Curb the Frivolous Litigation


School districts have been known to have deep pockets when it comes to potentially harmful litigation, which is why it’s so distressing to hear of the most recent attempt to fleece St. Vrain Valley schools.

Last fall, a 9-year-old boy was enjoying the playground at Mead Elementary School, which is north of Highway 66. While running around, the boy tripped on a curb and fell, smashing his head onto asphalt below. According to reports, he lost consciousness and he has permanent head injuries.

The family says the curb should’ve been well marked, so they’re suing for about $10 million in damages from the district and playground builder. We’re guessing they’re reaching for the moon in the hopes of settlement. But watching the newscast of the story when it originally hit airwaves (we bookmarked it for you: tinyurl.com/27yylq) affirms our suspicion that this is one of most frivolous claims one could think up.

It’s a curb—about 9 inches tall—that leads to a parking lot. It could have been bright yellow—heck, there could’ve been a billboard-sized warning sign—and the running child may still not have noticed it. Our heart goes out to the boy and we hope he fully recovers, but if the school district loses this suit or settles with the family (instinct tells us this is highly likely), this will set an ugly precedent.

The St. Vrain school district isn’t commenting since the case is in pending litigation. But based on the argument presented, grocery stores, malls and every other public establishment will start sweating every time a playful kid starts running around.

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