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Case against Evansville district dismissed

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GINA R. HEINE
October 22, 2008
— A Rock County judge has dismissed an Evansville family's lawsuit against the Evansville School District filed after a chemical ice pack leaked and burned a student's leg.

Judge Ken Forbeck granted the school district's motion for summary judgment in a hearing last month, dismissing the lawsuit filed by Jeffrey Sheffield and his daughter Brianna. Forbeck signed the order of dismissal Monday, according to court documents.


Krista Buchholz, an attorney for the district, said the dismissal was correct because the school did not violate any duties in distributing an ice pack.


The family's attorney, Anne MacArthur, declined to comment.


According to the suit:


On Feb. 14, 2006, Brianna twisted her ankle at J.C. McKenna Middle School and was given an ice pack by a school employee to control the swelling.


The ice pack she was given was a one-time-use pack, but it had been used before. The ice pack leaked, causing injuries to Brianna's right lower leg. She received second- and third-degree burns, causing her pain, suffering, interference with her normal activities and "ability to enjoy life."


Medical experts stated Brianna's injuries were consistent with chemical burns, according to court documents. Because the blisters did not heal, she underwent an operation about a month after the incident.


Sheffield sued for injuries, damages and attorney fees for his daughter.


The school's health clerk last year sent two e-mails to staff stating not to re-use the breakable ice packs, according to court documents.



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