City settles with Juneau family over PE injury

Harborview Elementary, photographed on July 5, 2018. A lawsuit alleges a fourth grader was partially blinded during PE class in 2016. (Photo by Jacob Resneck/KTOO)

The City and Borough of Juneau agrees to pay a cash settlement to the family of a Harborview Elementary student injured during a physical education class in 2016.

The fourth-grader was struck in the face by a soccer ball, according to court filings, and permanently blinded in one eye.

The child’s parents filed the lawsuit in February alleging the PE teacher lacked sufficient training making the school district negligent.

The judge put the case under seal, so the terms of the settlement aren’t public. But in court papers, the family’s lawsuit initially asked for damages in excess of $100,000.

“This has been a difficult case for both sides,” said Clay Keene, a Ketchikan-based attorney retained to defend the school district. “But through the cooperation of the parties and the attorneys, the result is very fair to both sides.”

Judge Trevor Stephens will review the terms of the settlement Monday in a closed hearing.

Both school district and city officials declined to comment until after Monday’s hearing.

Editor’s Note: KTOO isn’t naming the plaintiffs out of privacy concerns for the child.

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