An appeals court has reinstated a claim filed by a Long Island high school student over the injury he suffered in 2009, when his physical education teacher hit him in the hand with a stick while playing indoor floor hockey during gym class.
The Appellate Division, Second Department, unanimously said Wednesday it was unclear from the facts in Godoy v. Central Islip Union Free School District, 2012-09823, whether gym teacher Otis Scerbo breached a duty that he and his school district owed to Pedro Godo.
The teen testified that Scerbo was playing floor hockey when he took a shot and hit Godoy’s right hand as the student attempted to block it. Godoy’s right index finger was injured.
Scerbo testified that he was not aware of Godoy’s exact location, other than somewhere behind him, and that he was “looking to score” when he shot at the goal.
The court said in an unsigned ruling that the parties’ statements raised questions of fact whether Scerbo’s actions “constituted proper supervision, as well as whether the alleged negligent supervision was a proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.”
Justices Peter Skelos, Leonard Austin, Sandra Sgroi and Hector LaSalle were on the panel.
Jamie Rosner, a partner in Keegan, Keegan, Ross & Rosner of Patchogue, argued for Godoy. Glenn Kaminska and Nicholas Cardascia, partners in Ahmuty, Demers & McManus of Albertson, represented the school district.
The panel reinstated a claim which had been dismissed in September 2012 by Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice Joseph Pastoressa.