Schirmer v Board of Educ. of Spencerport Cent. School Dist., 2006 NY Slip Op 08574, a recent Fourth Department case, brought back a flood of unwelcome memories of torturous hours spent in study halls in high school, while at the same time inexplicably reminding me of the innumerous hours that I spent as a teenager laughing until my sides hurt while listening to the Jerky Boys (my all-time favorite line being "Right. And I'll bring all my shoes and my glasses with me so I have them.")
Oh, those were the days. But, I digress.
You're probably wondering why this case sent me on a long, strange trip down memory lane. Well, wonder no more, my good readers. Sit right down and I'll tell you a tale about an infant plaintiff that sustained an eye injury during an unsupervised study hall when he was hit by a wayward piece of beef jerky that was being thrown back and forth between the infant defendants. One of the infant defendants, Mannix, was supposed to be in the study hall, while the other was not.
And, why, you might ask, were they flinging beef jerky across the room? As explained by the Court in my favorite line from the opinion: "It is undisputed that the two students were throwing the beef jerky for fun..." Yep, that's right, for fun. I mean, what could possibly be more fun than beef jerky? These kids sure know how to partaaaay. Life of the party, I tell you.
Perhaps you're curious about the legal issues and the Court's holding in this case. Ask and ye shall receive:
We conclude that the activity engaged in by the two students was not "so inherently dangerous that mere participation therein [was] negligence" ...Thus, Supreme Court properly granted the motion of Mannix seeking summary judgment dismissing the amended complaint against him.
The evidence submitted by defendant in support of its motion established that there were at times 50 or more students attending the honors study hall; the study hall was not supervised by an adult; the study hall was only periodically monitored by an adult to determine whether there were students present who did not have the requisite "honors" pass; defendant had notice of three prior incidents wherein objects were thrown by students attending the study hall without the requisite "honors" pass; and defendant had notice of one prior incident wherein a student was injured by another student while attending the unsupervised study hall. That evidence raises triable issues of fact whether defendant adequately supervised the students attending the study hall and whether the injuries sustained by plaintiff's son were a foreseeable result of the "absence of adequate supervision"...