Monday, April 6, 2009

News of the Nothing...

A mad dash for ice cream at a Queens grammar school earned an 11-year-old boy more than a trip to the principal's office.

Rosanna Tomack, a former teacher's aide at PS 94 in Little Neck, is hauling little Joseph Cicack into court after the youngster barreled into her and knocked her down, injuring her bad back, according to a lawsuit filed in Queens Supreme Court.

Joseph, about 8 at the time of the May 2006 incident, is above the age when a child can be sued, said Edmond Chakmakian, Tomack's lawyer.

"It's a legitimate case," Chakmakian said. "It's not silly."
This falls into the " what?" department. The NY Post, however, is trying to make it an issue that shows the teacher's aid in a negative light. Sure, she filed suit against an 8 year old (at the time of the incident)...but not really.

Actually, she filed suit against the parent's homeowners policy which provides liability coverage for the child should he commit an act for which he can be held responsible. This is a New York claim (which means there was a three year statute of limitations on bodily injury). Therefore, the Homeowner's carrier could not come to an agreement with the plaintiff on the value of the claim, and a summons and complaint needed to be filed to protect the statute. It's as simple as that.

The teacher's aid required a fusion which is an invasive surgical procedure that results is significant work duty restrictions and permanent disability. This is NOTHING unusual. However, the NY Post decided to make it an issue for the teacher's aid...and I think it was a low blow.

The teacher's aid could not file suit against the school since that party likely pays her Workers' Compensation and there is mutual exclusivity in NY. Plus, I'm betting the Homeowner's carrier is placing a low value on the claim based on a lack of exposure...since the teacher's aid is one of the parties responsible for enforcing the rules, which were broken.