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Langley teen’s sliced finger leads to lawsuit against school district

Student allegedly damaged tendon in finger on a field trip
The Langley School District board offices. (Langley Advance Times files)

A Walnut Grove teenager is suing the Langley School District and a bus company after allegedly slicing a tendon in his finger while on a school field trip.

The incident took place on Oct. 9, 2019, when the student was on a school field trip to downtown Vancouver.

The student’s left hand was allegedly cut by a fan under his seat in the bus. The lawsuit claims the middle finger suffered a lacerated tendon or nerve.

The lawsuit against the school district and Thirdwave, the bus company, seeks damages including loss of past and future wages, the cost of transportation to and from medical treatments, rehabilitation expenses, as well as damages for pain and suffering.

“As a further result of the injuries sustained in the incident, the plaintiff will be more susceptible to future injury and degenerative changes,” the statement of claim in the lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit also targets both the bus driver and the teacher who was acting as a chaperone on the trip, but both are listed as “John/Jane Doe,” without names. Langley City is also named in the lawsuit, although Walnut Grove Secondary is located in Langley Township.

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The suit claims the defendants failed to ensure the bus was mechanically sound, that there was a cage over the fan, that the bus was properly inspected, or to train the driver in first aid.

The lawsuit was filed in October last year. The Langley School District filed a response on June 16 this year.

The district denies that any of its employees were negligent, and said that Thirdwave was solely responsible for the condition of its buses.

The response also says possible blame may lie with the student, saying he may have failed “to take reasonable care for his own safety in the circumstances.”

On the same day the district filed its response to the student’s lawsuit, it also filed a third-party notification against Thirdwave. The district claims that their contract with Thirdwave made the bus company solely responsible for the condition, maintenance, and safety of the buses, including any fans under the seats.

It also notes that Thirdwave was to have $5 million of injury insurance.

None of the allegations in the claims or responses have been proven in court.

There are no scheduled court hearings yet for the case.

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Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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