Ore. teen sues school district for $1.3 million after slipping on gym court

SALEM, Ore. -- A former Salem high school student who was injured after slipping on a school gymnasium floor in 2013 has filed a $1.3 million lawsuit against Salem-Keizer Public Schools.

During an open gym at Sprague High School on Oct. 1, 2013, an unidentified student vomited on the gymnasium floor. The lawsuit alleges that the head coach of the Sprague basketball team tried to clean up the vomit but either failed to completely clean the floor or did not thoroughly dry the area, leaving the floor wet.

The student who filed the lawsuit, then-15-year-old Robert Amarillas, slipped and fell on the spot where the student had vomited, suffering "a traumatic brain injury."

The lawsuit claims that Amarillas has suffered "permanent cognitive limitations." A public liability claim filed by Robert's mother, Vickey Amarillas, on May 22, 2014, claimed that Amarillas suffers from impaired vision and constant headaches. She also wrote that he struggled with academics after the injury and was placed on a 504 plan, a modified education plan for children with disabilities, at Sprague High School.

The lawsuit argues that the school district is at fault because it allegedly allowed students to continue to play basketball on the gymnasium floor while it was still wet, did not warn the students of the slipping hazard, and failed to thoroughly dry the floor.

The lawsuit seeks up to $300,000 for medical expenses, $500,000 for a loss of earning capacity and $500,000 for pain and suffering.

The Oregonian, which first reported about the lawsuit, claims that an identical lawsuit was filed, with a court date set for September 2016, before it was dismissed for unknown reasons. This current lawsuit was filed less than two weeks after the dismissal.

An attorney for the school district, referring to the previous lawsuit before it was dismissed, told The Oregonian that Amarillas' injuries "were caused in whole or in part by his own negligence or by the misconduct of others."

(© 2016 KGW)


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