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Milton student sues for injury

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ANN MARIE AMES
November 9, 2007
— A Milton High School student is suing the district because a safety strap broke while she was climbing a rock wall in gym class.

Alyssa L. Juhl, 17, daughter of Eileen and Wendell Juhl, 103 Romar Drive, Milton, broke her tailbone when the strap broke and she fell 10 feet.


District Business Manager Dianne Meyer would not comment on the suit and was not sure if the district had been served at this point.


“We’ve shared the information with our insurance company, and they’re in the discovery period at this time,” Meyer said.


The district has 45 days to respond to the suit, said the Juhls’ attorney Scott Schroeder.


According to court documents:


Juhl, now a junior, put on a safety harness and climbed the 20-foot climbing wall during third period gym class. Like the rest of the class, Juhl signed her name on the wall and started climbing down.


As she was climbing down, a strap, which was attached to the ceiling and supported the climber, broke. Juhl fell 10 to 15 feet.


Juhl’s feet landed partly on a floor mat. She fell backwards, landing with all her weight on her tailbone.


According to the documents, a student who used the same equipment earlier that day told the gym teacher, Elizabeth Perdue, that the rope was frayed.


The suit claims the district was negligent for failing to properly maintain or inspect the equipment and to properly place the mats. It also claims the district violated the Wisconsin Safe Place statute.


The suit also claims the district’s insurance carrier, EMC Insurance Companies of Brookfield, has not diligently evaluated the claim and that payment of the claim is overdue.


EMC denied the notice of claim in July.


Juhl has recovered from the injury and is participating fully in school activities, Schroeder said.


Wisconsin statutes limit negligence claims to $50,000, no matter the cost of hospital bills, he said.


“It’s not fair for many, many people,” Schroeder said. “That’s one of the points why the parents decided to go public, to show the inequity of that statute.”



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