A 7-year-old child jumped off a railing of a picnic hut into snow. More snow fell from the roof of the hut burying the child, who remained in a sitting/folded over position for less than 40 minutes. Upon removal the child was discovered not to be breathing. Spontaneous respirations returned within one minute. The child was taken by ambulance to the hospital. After overnight admittance for observation, the child was released the next day without documentation of injury. The parents sued the lodge for failure to remove snow and demanded $1,000,000 in damages, claiming the child suffered brain injury. A defense offer of $30,000 was refused. Dr. Steven Lerner & Associates provided a neuropsychologist who testified at trial for the defense that the child suffered no brain damage. The child did not attend school prior to the incident. Afterward the child began attending school and aptitudes increased accordingly. The jury returned a verdict of $10,000 to the child for fear and $13,000 to the hospital for medical costs.
Attorney for the defendants:
Linda Anna Webb, RN, JD
Hagans, Ahearn, McLaughlin & Webb