On behalf of Smiley & Smiley, LLP posted in Premises Liability on Friday, January 10, 2014.
Two high school students from Manhattan's Beacon School were injured when a lab experiment in a chemistry class went terribly wrong last week. One of the students suffered serious burn injuries and had to be hospitalized.
The accident occurred last Thursday after the students had returned from winter break. According to reports, the chemistry teacher was attempting to lead her students in a "fun" demonstration by burning four types of nitrates in separate crucibles.
However, a fireball erupted in the classroom as a result of the fumes and a 16-year-old student was engulfed by the flames. The student fell to the ground and was seriously burned before a fire extinguisher and a blanket were used to put of the fire.
Students in the classroom at the time gave the New York Post graphic accounts of what they witnessed in the classroom. Apparently none of the students were wearing protective eye goggles at the time.
It is likely that an investigation will follow to determine what happened and whether negligence on behalf of the teacher or school contributed. If so, it is possible that the students who were injured in the accident may be entitled to damages.
Schools, along with daycares and other establishments for children, have a duty to put safety first at all times. This means following safety protocol and providing the necessary safety equipment if there is any risk involved.
While lab experiments are a fun and necessary part of a chemistry class, what's most important is that the safety of the students remains the No. 1 priority. Children should not face a risk of serious burn injuries while at school.
Source: New York Post, "Two high school kids burned in lab accident," Lorena Mongelli, Natasha Velez and Laura Italiano, Jan. 2, 2014
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