Former District 300 student owed $1.95M after settlement reached in personal injury suit

Parties reach settlement in 2014 personal injury lawsuit

The family of a Florida teenager who was injured on an inflatable slide during a school event in 2013 will receive about $1.95 million in a settlement with the slide rental company and the school’s parent-teacher organization.

The former student at District 300’s Algonquin Lakes Elementary School now lives in Florida and suffers from a chronic pain condition as a result of a surgery to repair her ankle after the fall.

A Kane County judge ordered the $1,945,000 settlement Nov. 30. Ed’s Rental and Sales Inc. will pay the girl’s family $990,000, and Algonquin Lakes Elementary School PTO will pay $955,000, according to the court order.

The now 16-year-old was only 11 years old when she was climbing an inflatable slide that toppled over and fell to the ground May 23, 2013, at the school, according to court documents.

The slide, provided by Ed’s Rental and Sales Inc., was one of the attractions at the school’s fifth-grade end-of-the-year party, according to documents filed in Kane County court.

Six students were injured and taken to the hospital that day.

Ed’s Rental has locations in McHenry, Algonquin and Crystal Lake. The company rents and sells construction and entertainment equipment, according to its website.

Representatives from Ed’s Rental and Sales and the PTO cold not be reached for comment.

The original lawsuit filed in 2014 in Kane County named Ed’s Rental, the PTO and the District 300 Board.

On March 14, 2017, a judge approved a partial settlement in the amount of $25,000 with the board. At that time, it was thought that the girl only suffered a fractured left wrist, multiple fractures in her left ankle, damage to ligaments and tendons in her left ankle and had developed post-traumatic arthritis.

The girl presented more symptoms, however, after undergoing ankle surgery to remove scar tissue from the injury Nov. 23, 2016, her attorney, Jeffrey E. Martin, said.

A short time later, specialists diagnosed the girl with a chronic pain disorder that likely was caused by the surgery to her ankle, Martin said.

Now a junior in high school, the girl has been feeling pain as a result of the fall since 2013, her father, Rob Stevens, said.

“If she does too much on a specific day, then she’s going to have even more pain over the next several days because of that activity,” Stevens said.

Tasks such as walking across campus or going to her school’s homecoming dance are enough to cause days of pain, which could spread beyond her ankle and lower leg as she gets older, Stevens said.

Ed’s Rental and Sales Inc. and the PTO each offered the remaining balance of their $1 million insurance policy limits to settle the claim, court records show.

The largest sum of the settlement – $1,260,560 – is to be used directly for the girl’s benefit, and likely will be put toward her medical costs, Martin said.

The remaining sum will be dispersed between Martin and the girl’s family. Several thousand dollars were specifically allocated to help the girl buy electronic equipment and other materials required for her college education.

“In a heartbeat, we would trade all of this for our daughter to live her life without the daily pain she experiences,” Stevens said. “This has been a very difficult road for our entire family.”

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