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Child injured at rec center settles for $6M

The case of an 8-year-old girl who suffered a spinal cord stroke after being injured at a recreational center has been settled for $6 million, her attorneys report.

Many facts of the case were withheld pursuant to a confidentiality clause, but according to According to Elizabeth Grimes of the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo in Charlotte, the girl was injured while doing a standing backbend. At the time, Grimes said, the girl was not being spotted by her instructor.

After falling, the girl complained of leg pain but was not immobilized, Grimes said. Though initially being able to walk, the girl could not feel her legs after about a half an hour. According to Grimes, rec center employees failed to call 911 and contended that they “were not on notice” of the girl’s complaints regarding the lack of sensation in her legs.

The girl alleged that she stayed in the rec center for two hours without medical care. When she got home and refused to walk, the girl’s mother called the rec center and was allegedly told by an instructor that the girl was exaggerating her injuries.

But Grimes said that the girl was soon taken to urgent care, where she had no reflexes and could not feel pin pricks to her legs. She was rushed to the hospital where a spinal cord infarction was discovered.

Grimes said that the defendant denied that the girl complained of leg pain (other than minor knee pain after the fall) and was walking fine when she left class. Further, the defendant contended, the girl didn’t need a spotter because she had mastered the backbend. Medical and biomedical experts who testified for the defendant said that the girl had a peculiar susceptibility or an undiagnosed pre-existing condition that caused her spinal cord stroke.

Grimes said the girl is now paraplegic and has developed scoliosis that will likely require surgery. She will need attendant care for the rest of her life, Grimes added.

Follow Heath Hamacher on Twitter @NCLWHamacher


Amount: $6,000,000

Injuries alleged: Spinal cord stroke with paraplegia and developing scoliosis

Case name: Confidential

Court: Confidential

Case No.:  Confidential

Date of award: Sept. 19

Attorneys for plaintiff: Elizabeth Grimes and Michael A. DeMayo of the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo in Charlotte, and John Edwards of Edwards Kirby in Raleigh

Attorneys for defendant: Confidential

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