Tags: sick | school | trip | hotchkiss

Sick on School Trip: Former Hotchkiss Student Awarded $41M in Tick-Bite Suit

Friday, 29 Mar 2013 01:27 PM

By Michael Mullins

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Nearly six years after contracting a serious tick-borne illness that left her mute and with severe brain damage, a now 20-year-old New York City woman was awarded $41.7 million in a settlement against her former school by a federal jury.

In her lawsuit against the Hotchkiss School, a private school in Lakeville, Conn., Cara Munn's attorneys argued that the school did not provide adequate precautions to protect students from ticks during a 2007 summer trip to China when Munn was a freshman.

Special: Should the Supreme Court Legalize Gay Marriage? Vote in Urgent Poll.

On at least one occasion on the trip, students walked through a wooded area known for its high concentration of ticks that carry encephalitis, which is irritation and swelling of the brain that affected Munn, her attorneys said.

The school has already announced that it will appeal Wednesday's decision, The Associated Press reported.

"Hotchkiss failed to take basic safety precautions to protect the minor children in its care," Munn's attorney Antonio Ponvert III said. "Cara's injuries were easily preventable."

In response, attorneys for the school countered that encephalitis is such a rare disease the academic institution could not have foreseen the risk, and therefore it should not be held responsible for cautioning students.

Hotchkiss administrators said in a statement this week that the community was saddened by Munn's illness and hoped for improvements to her health, the AP reported.

"We care deeply about all our students," the school said in the statement. "We make every effort to protect them, whether they are here or participating in a school-sponsored activity off-campus. We put great care and thought into planning and administering off-campus programs, and we extend the same care to students on these trips as to students on campus."

The Connecticut jury deliberated for eight hours before returning their verdict on the case, which lasted for eight days.

Editor's Note: The IRS’ Worst Nightmare — How to Pay Zero Taxes

Related stories:

Another Tick-Borne Disease Identified

Is Lyme Disease a Threat?

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Retype Email:
Zip Code:
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved