Paterson student slashed by screw in School 20 bathroom getting $200,000 settlement | Paterson Times Paterson Times

Paterson student slashed by screw in School 20 bathroom getting $200,000 settlement

By Jayed Rahman
Published: March 17, 2020


A student slashed by a metal screw in the bathroom of School 20 while involved in a horseplay incident is receiving $200,000 in settlement.

School board members agreed to settle Kaz’mir J. Fields-Nelson’s case on Monday night. His parents had filed the lawsuit against the school district two years ago. School officials were accused of negligence for allegedly failing to properly supervise students.

On Apr. 12, 2017, Fields-Nelson, eight-year-old at the time, went to the bathroom with a classmate. Both went to the bathroom on the first floor and were unsupervised at all times by staff, according to the lawsuit.

Fields-Nelson entered a stall in the bathroom that had metal screws jutting out from the handle at face-level. His classmate allegedly engaged in horseplay and kicked the stall door while Fields-Nelson was using it. Due to the kick, a metal screw at face-level slashed open Fields-Nelson’s cheek.

Prior to the incident, the district “knew” or “had reason to know” the stall door was in a “dangerous and unsafe condition,” according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit states the district failed to maintain the bathroom in a safe condition.

Fields-Nelson sustained “serious facial, muscular, and dermatological injuries requiring multiple medical procedures and/or surgeries,” according to the lawsuit. His parents spent in excess of $3,600 in medical expenses at the time of the filing of the lawsuit.

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Updated 1:10 p.m.

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