The parents of a Colorado Springs elementary school student who claim their daughter was seriously burned during an after-school science activity are suing the region’s largest school district.
Joshua and Lauren Johnson filed a lawsuit Feb. 25 in El Paso County District Court against Colorado Springs School District 11, Steele Elementary School and its parent-teacher organization and Science Matters in Colorado.
The complaint alleges that on Feb. 28, 2017, the couple’s then 7-year-old daughter suffered first- and second-degree burns from “scalding hot liquid from a glass container that was dangerously placed on a counter on an unsupervised hot plate and knocked off.”
The girl was burned on her face, left ear, left arm, left shoulder, both legs and right foot, according to court documents. The injuries required surgical removal of the damaged tissue and skin grafts, leaving her with scars, the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount of money.
D-11 spokewoman Devra Ashby declined to comment, citing pending litigation.
The girl has been “undergoing extensive treatment” since the incident, said Jeremy Loew, the Johnsons’ attorney.
“Incidents happen at school all of the time, however in this situation, we feel Science Matters in Colorado holds the most responsibility for the negligent actions that caused the severe injury to this child,” Loew said.
Science Matters in Colorado provides hands-on, after-school science, technology, engineering and math programs on school grounds.
Loew said he expects the school and the parent-teacher organization to be “relieved of financial obligation” early in the legal process.
The lawsuit claims negligence in supervision and training and seeks an undisclosed amount of compensation for past and future medical expenses and other damages related to the child’s injuries.
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