School Hit With Chicken Nugget Lawsuit
For some reason, chicken nuggets have been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons. One man filed a lawsuit against McDonald’s after he said he bit into a McNugget and found a bone. The resulting damage to his teeth was extensive. Obviously, McNuggets are not supposed to have bones. In fact, all chicken nuggets should be bone-free regardless of whether or not they come from McDonald’s. Even more recently, a 19-year-old student with autism died after he choked on a chicken nugget in school.
The $2 million settlement will compensate the family for the wrongful death of their son. It will also ensure that school district employees receive adequate training for dealing with special needs students.
The boy who died had a severe form of autism that rendered him mostly non-verbal. His condition also rendered him more likely to choke on food than others. In August of 2019, the boy was rushed to the hospital after he began choking on a chicken nugget. The boy was supposed to have an aide assigned to him specifically, but video footage of the incident showed that the aide was attending to someone else while the boy was choking.
What About Sovereign Immunity?
A savvy reader might notice that the damages, in this case, are higher than the damage caps on claims against the government allow. However, this incident involved a disabled student who was not afforded the accommodations required for him to safely be outside of his home. Because it was a violation of disability statutes, the lawsuit was allowed to be filed in federal court where a higher settlement award was ordered. Since the lawsuit claimed that the school district had violated federal protections for children with disabilities, the lawsuit was able to proceed outside the scope of sovereign immunity.
In a situation like this that does not involve a disabled student, the parents could file the claim with the legislature to receive more than the standard caps on claims against the government allow. However, the legislature must agree to the petition. It is unusual to hear of claims against the government being filed with the legislature. Even the parents of the Parkland students who lost their lives are fighting to get a higher settlement than the $350,000 that they would all be forced to split.
Protections for Students With Disabilities
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act brings in provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act and places special requirements on school districts that deal with children that have disabilities. In cases where the school district fails to meet these standards, they can be held accountable under the law.
Talk to a Miami Personal Injury Attorney
If your child has been injured at school, call the Miami personal injury attorneys at the office of Alan Goldfarb, P.A. today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.