Parents settle lawsuit over piano accident at Scotia-Glenville school

Friday, May 24, 2013
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— A lawsuit filed last year against the Scotia-Glenville Central School District by the parents of a girl who suffered injuries after a piano fell on her at school has been settled, according to court papers.

Judge Vincent J. Reilly accepted the settlement in state Supreme Court in Schenectady County, with the amount being $55,000, according to court papers.

Jeffrey and Lisa Shaffer alleged in the suit that on Oct. 27, 2009, their daughter, then 12, was sitting in the front row of a music class at Scotia-Glenville Middle School when the teacher moved the piano so it would be closer to the students. During the process of moving the piano, it tipped over and fell onto the girl “as a result of the negligent manner in which her teacher was pushing or moving said piano,” according to the lawsuit.

The piano landed on the girl’s foot, the lawsuit said, and she suffered two broken toes, required stitches and had other injuries. She also experienced pain and soreness, the lawsuit contended.

The parents alleged the school was negligent because it failed to keep the piano in a safe manner and failed to inspect it, among other claims.

The parents sought payment for medical expenses, for general pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

According to the agreement, payment for the settlement is to be made through Utica National Insurance Group, with money to the girl being placed in an annuity. The total settlement includes the annuity for the girl, as well as attorney’s fees.

The attorney representing the Shaffers, Craig A. Cushing of Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, could not be reached Friday. A spokesman for the school district also could not be reached.

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