Student Illness Caused by Gas in Boulder Valley School District Building

Student Illness Caused by

A civil case is underway in Boulder County District Court where the parents of a former Casey Middle School student claim gas from the sewer system made their daughter ill for a lengthy period of time. Margaret and Randall Smith claim their daughter suffered illness from exposure to hydrogen sulfide emanating from the sewer. The smell of rotten eggs had aroused suspicions of a problem since the school was reconstructed in 2010. During the 2014-15 school years, both parents and the staff expressed concerns. The District sought a dismissal of the matter based on Colorado’s Government Immunity Act; however, the plaintiffs argue that this particular case should continue because it is based on one of the several exceptions that waive immunity under the Act.

The student is said to have experienced stomach pain, drowsiness and spells of dizziness, and fainting that needed costly medical care. The suit states that the cause of these symptoms were hazardous gas, causing the parents to move their daughter to another school. Since transferring elsewhere, the symptoms have apparently ceased. An environmental expert from the University of Albany believes the illness was indeed caused by hydrogen sulfide. The lawsuit explains that the building contained this harmful chemical, and there was a maintenance failure that school officials did not properly warn or protect students from.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages for medical costs, pain & suffering, lost wages, loss of enjoyment & distress. School district officials have indicated that multiple causes contributed to the gas problem in a May 2016 report of findings. Officials explained that some of the problems included construction errors and design issues and that they have since made improvements to the air system controls.

Colorado Statute

The Colorado Governmental Immunity Act (CGIA) allows for immunity from actions of tort against government bodies and employees. Tort is defined as a wrongful action occurring when someone’s negligent act had inflicted harm or loss on another. The reasoning behind the enactment of the statute is that often the government is the provider of critical services, and subjecting them to limitless liability could potentially become unaffordable and thereby discourage community services. It is interesting to note that there are six scenarios where this immunity is waived and one is when a dangerous condition exists in a public building that is hazardous to public safety. Furthermore, in order to be held liable, the defendant must have known of the problem (or reasonably should have known).

Law Firm for Colorado Personal Injury Cases

When the negligence or carelessness of another party causes adverse results such as severe injury, they may be liable for providing financial compensation to remedy the issues. The Denver personal injury lawyers at the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal aggressively pursues economic retribution on behalf of Colorado injury victims. Contact the office today for a complimentary consultation at (303) 825-2223.

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