As a result of a terrible accident involving a ‘drunk goggles’ intoxication demonstration, the Davis School District has agreed to pay $100,000 to a teenage girl and her family to settle a personal injury lawsuit. According to the lawsuit, the student, Kylie Nielsen, of Kaysville, was injured in class the morning of May 9, 2014, at Centennial Junior High School. She was 13 at the time, and the accident, which resulted in a crippling leg injury, occurred “during an alcohol impairment simulation exercise in a health class.”
But what exactly happened to cause the student’s crippling injury? As detailed out in the lawsuit, “Kylie and classmates were told to don goggles designed to significantly impair the wearer’s vision and perception abilities and to place the wearer in a simulated state of drunkenness.” From there, Rick Smith, Kylie’s health teacher, instructed students to “play tag” and “run through the classroom full of desks, tables, chairs and other equipment.” Unfortunately, “Kylie’s foot got caught in the brace of a desk, severely twisting her ankle, causing multiple bone fractures, including at least one to the growth plate in her left ankle.”
According to her parents, Kylie “needed two surgeries, and the injuries left her with one leg shorter than the other, and she was unable to be physically active without pain and swelling.” Because of the severity of their daughter’s injury, they ended up accusing both the district and Smith of negligence and recklessness.
Fortunately for Kylie and her family, the settlement includes funds to help cover medical expenses, legal fees, and other damages. For example, “district officials agreed to put $61,247 into a minor child trust account for Kylie,” while another $13,074 will cover medical expenses. The law firm, LeBaron and Jensen, “will receive $25,679 for legal fees and costs.”
In response to the lawsuit and the family’s claims, Chris Williams, a school district spokesman, said, “no question, it was an unfortunate accident. The teacher made a mistake.” In a statement on Tuesday, district spokeswoman Shauna Lund said, “it was a tragic accident. We are sorry for all Kylie went through as a result of it.”
Smith has since resigned from the school district.