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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been following this story for the last few weeks because I thought it was a bunch of *bleep*. I just glad to see that there are people out there that DO have some common sense.

http://www.dailymail.com/news/News/200408112/\

"A Kanawha County jury ruled that a 15-year-old girl has nobody but herself to blame for her 50-foot fall through Stonewall Jackson Middle School's auditorium ceiling.

The six-person jury's verdict, delivered Tuesday in Kanawha Circuit Court, left Candace D. Scicere and her mother, Lillian, in tears. They were hoping to get more than $900,000 from the jury for the injuries and trauma Candace sustained during her 2001 fall.

They claimed the school system could have prevented the fall by locking an off-limits trap door that marked the beginning of Candace's winding journey to the storage area above the auditorium. It was there where she fell through an insulated ceiling tile.

Thomas Kleeh, one of the Kanawha County school system's lawyers, said the verdict showed "the jury understood that each and every person has a responsibility to act in accordance with the rules."

The school system refused to accept responsibility for Candace's fall because the tragedy happened after she knowingly broke a series of school regulations, including skipping class, going into the teacher's stairwell where the trap door was located, climbing onto the roof and clambering her way into the auditorium attic.

"This case is absolutely upside-down," school system lawyer Andrew Paternostro told jurors in closing arguments. "Can you imagine running a stop sign full blast, hitting somebody and then suing somebody for doing it? That's what this case was about."

For decades, rulebreakers at Stonewall Jackson have gone to the attic above the auditorium. Kids went there to smoke, while away time as they cut class and do other things.

Candace went there on Nov. 28, 2001. She was a 12-year-old seventh grader who had been convinced to cut her last class of the day by another girl and two boys.

To get there, she snuck into an off-limit's teacher's stairwell, climbed up a ladder attached to a wall, pushed through an unlocked trap door leading to a boiler room, stepped through a window out onto a roof, negotiated a series of ladders and pushed her way through a broken fire door.

She found a room with a table and chairs on one side and insulation covering ceiling tiles on the other.

Candace walked out on a plank over the insulated area, took a wrong step and fell through the ceiling. Her left leg shattered when she landed in an auditorium seat 50 feet below.

At trial, her lawyers said the school board should pay for the damages Candace suffered during the fall, including large medical bills, chronic pain and a deep depression that has kept her from returning to school.

The reason: another parent told now-deceased Vice Principal Lowell Harris that kids were going up to the attic and had his son show Harris how students were getting up there. The parent, Brian Combs, said Harris promised to lock it off.

The school system didn't lock off the path until after Candace's accident.

"This is carelessness, this is neglect of the obvious and strong kind" Tim DiPiero, one of Candace's lawyers, told jurors in closing arguments. "Shame on (the school system) for not taking responsibility."

After the verdict, members of the Kanawha County school board said they were relieved the jury blamed Candace for the fall.

"It was an unreasonable lawsuit," board member Pete Thaw said. "It's like if I broke into your house and fell down and sued you."

Contact writer Toby Coleman at 348-4886.<\i>"

MT BK content: West Virginia is a HELLVA place to ride!
 

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Too bad the jury couldn't sentence Candace's mother to be horsewhipped for wasting everyone's time and for warping her daughter by teaching her to blame her problems on everything except her own actions, and have her lawyer flogged, too, for being an enabler.

In fact, now that I think about it, the whole idea of flogging the losing lawyer could really help ensure that only worthwhile cases get brought before the courts.
 

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Oh, believe me... the snide remarks we gave to her in the paper were well worth my time.

I mean, COME ON... you:

A. Skipped Class
B. Went to a clearly prohibited zone. Hell, you probably passed signs warning you.
C. Did I mention you're skipping class?
D. Fell through a ceiling. You're 13 years old and you don't know the difference between a drop-ceiling and concrete flooring?
E. Brought to light that you were, once again, skipping a class that probably could've furthered your education so that you wouldn't do something THIS stupid.

The only sad part is that she avoided natural selection... twould make for a great Darwin Award.


It's ALMOST as good as the story about the kid that got stuck inbetween two walls in the girl's locker room my freshman year in HS. Inquire for details.
 

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It seems to me that you are being a bit harsh on a 12 year old girl. She shouldn't have to take responsibility for doing stupid things if others in the school also do these things regularly and the school knows about it.

12 year olds aren't adults and often do stupid things. It's part of growing up. When we have laws that make kids go to school then the school has a responsibility to look after them and make sure that obvious risks are addressed.

If she was an adult it would be a different story.

Wombat
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Wombat said:
It seems to me that you are being a bit harsh on a 12 year old girl. She shouldn't have to take responsibility for doing stupid things if others in the school also do these things regularly and the school knows about it.

12 year olds aren't adults and often do stupid things. It's part of growing up. When we have laws that make kids go to school then the school has a responsibility to look after them and make sure that obvious risks are addressed.

If she was an adult it would be a different story.

Wombat
True, she is just a kid, but by the same token, when I was 12 I KNEW I wasn't suppose to skip class, smoke etc. She knew what she was doing. While I do feel sorry for what happened to her I have no sympathy in what she did. She KNEW she was breaking the rules. She KNEW she wasn't suppose to go up in the attc, She KNEW she wasn't suppose skip class, etc.... Just 'cause "everyone was doing it" doesn't make it right. So She can look at this as a valuable learning experience.

As far as "making kids go to school" I have no problem with doing away with that mandate so long as anyone who drops out of school voluntarily also has to give up any all rights for aid from the state and federal governments. I.e.: Social Security, Government health care, welfare, educational aid, etc&#8230;.
 

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Wombat said:
It seems to me that you are being a bit harsh on a 12 year old girl. She shouldn't have to take responsibility for doing stupid things if others in the school also do these things regularly and the school knows about it.
fine, in your world a 12 year old doesn't have to "accept responsibility" for being an idiot; but we should sure as sh1t not have to pay for injuries resulting from her stupid behavior....
 

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O.K., I'll admit it...I did stupid sh!t like that all the time when I was her age. The difference is, my mother would simply build up some momentum in her leg and land her foot square on my tookus. She didn't care if my leg was broken, she'd kick that too- just to get the point across.
 

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i agree with everyone's points about personal responsibility, and i think i agree with the jury, but if so many kids were skipping class and sneaking off to a potentially dangerous area of the school for years, why wouldn't they just lock the damn door? seems kind of moronic to me. not saying that the school is at fault, just that i think they acted irresponsibly. the girl and her family should just be happy she's alive.

the_dude
 
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