HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The guardian of an Horry County Schools student has filed a lawsuit against the district, claiming negligence by the district after the student's finger was amputated by a desk when another student sitting improperly in the desk fell over.
The suit states that on or about November 26, 2017, another student sitting in a desk improperly fell over and amputated the plaintiff's finger.
The suit claims that no warnings or signs advised the student of this "dangerous condition," and no employees at the scene warned the student of the sharp edges of the desk, or supervised the other child.
The lawsuit, filed on April 25 in the 15th Judicial Circuit, does not identify the student involved, or which school the incident occurred at.
The suit claims that Horry County Schools "was negligent, grossly negligent, willful and wanton," citing several particular factors. Those factors include: "failing to maintain the premises in a safe, clean and reasonably prudent manner," stocking desks with sharp edges, stocking desks without safety edges, providing dangerous desks to students, having knowledge of the dangerous desks before the incident, failing to supervise the student who toppled the desk, failing to maintain or implement a system to inspect the premises and desks, permitting the premises to remain in a "dangerous and/or hazardous condition including the desks," failing to warn the student about the dangerous conditions, failing to place signs warning the student about the desks, failing to replace the desk, failing to require the other student to sit correctly in the desk, and "failing to use that degree of skill and care that an ordinary and reasonable person would have done under similar and like circumstances."
The suit goes on to claim that as a result of the negligence of Horry County Schools, the student has suffered painful and permanent injuries, has and will continue to incur medical expenses, has and will suffer pain and discomfort, has and will suffer loss of wages and earning capacity, has and will suffer disruption to her daily routine at home and work, and has and will continue to "suffer a loss of enjoyment of life."
The suit is seeking actual and punitive damages from the district.
The lawsuit was filed by attorneys Gene M. Connell, Jr. and Roger Dale Johnson on behalf of the student and her guardian.
An Horry County Schools spokesperson provided this response to a request for comment on the lawsuit: "The District does not provide commentary on matters relating to pending litigation."