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Mom Sues School Over Water Balloon Prank

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By Andrew Chow, Esq. on August 07, 2012 10:05 AM

A mother's water balloon lawsuit seeks $75,000 from her daughter's New York school district for a senior prank gone wrong.

Stacy Katz of New Hampshire claims an upperclassman at John Jay High School in Lewisboro, N.Y., threw a water balloon at her daughter, hitting her in the left ear and rupturing her eardrum. The impact allegedly caused bleeding and hearing loss, the local Journal News reports.

Though a student allegedly hurled the water balloon, the school district should be held liable because of its negligence, Katz's lawsuit asserts.

The district's "administration and faculty negligently and recklessly failed to protect students from injury caused by students' pranks at the end of the school year," Stacy Katz's water balloon lawsuit states, according to The Journal News.

In a negligence case, a victim must generally prove that a defendant breached a duty of care, which then caused the victim's injury. In general, the injury must also have been a foreseeable consequence of a defendant's action or inaction. In most cases, a victim must also prove damages such as medical bills.

Katz's lawsuit seems to assert that the school failed to supervise its students, which led to a foreseeable injury. Katz claims her daughter couldn't go swimming after the water balloon attack, and "has become overly sensitive to loud sounds, which are now painful to her.

"These sounds include music played at normal teenage volume," her lawsuit continues. "This, in turn, has caused [the girl] to restrict her social activities with her friends."

Because Stacy Katz's daughter is still a minor, Katz filed the water balloon lawsuit on her behalf. School officials could not be reached for comment, The Journal News reports.

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