School board paying $100,000 to Paterson student injured in outdoor gym class fleeing wasp attack | Paterson Times Paterson Times

School board paying $100,000 to Paterson student injured in outdoor gym class fleeing wasp attack

By Jayed Rahman
Published: July 28, 2020


A John F. Kennedy High School student, who tripped over a pothole while fleeing a swarm of wasps during an outdoor gym class at Westside Park four years ago, is getting $100,000 in settlement from the Board of Education after his parents sued.

Luis Silverio, the student, suffered “severe and permanent physical, emotional and psychological injuries,” from the fall, according to the lawsuit.

The incident happened on September 16, 2016. Silverio was part of physical education teacher Jason Brandt’s gym class.

Brandt allegedly had the students run laps on the dilapidated pathway in Westside Park. Silverio followed the instructions and began to run laps around the circular path at the park.

Other students started to throw rocks at a tree containing a wasp nest. Wasps began swarming and stinging the students.

Silverio and other students ran towards the school building to flee the wasps. He tripped in one of several potholes on the circular path, “severely” injuring himself, says the lawsuit.

Brandt is accused of failing to properly supervise students and failing to see the presence of a wasp nest in the area where students were told to run laps. He is also accused of failing to prevent students from throwing rocks at the wasp nest, according to the lawsuit.

Silverio accused the Paterson Public Schools of negligence. His lawsuit also named the city of Paterson for failing to properly maintain the public park.

After the lawsuit dragged on for years, Silverio’s attorney made a judgment offer of $135,000 to the Paterson Public Schools to resolve the case in October 2019. The attorney also made a $100,000 judgement offer to the city of Paterson to resolve the matter.

School board members agreed to settle the case by paying Silverio $100,000 on Monday night.

The city of Paterson has yet to settle the case.

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