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Clay City School Corp v Timberman

Clay City Consolidated Schools v. Timberman 2009 WL 4250475 Ind.

Thirteen year old Kodi Pipes black out during basketball practice on Monday November 17, 2003. The coach notified Kodi's mother of the incident. Kodi mother told the coach that he could walk through all of the plays but not do any strenous activity. On Tuesday and Wenesday Kodi attended school without any problems. On Wenesday, even though he was not cleared by a doctor, he participated in practice without restriction. During the practice the coach required the team to do a running drill. Early in the drill, Kobi collapsed and died.

Procedural Posture:
Kobi's parents filed a lawsuit against the Clay City Schools, alleging that the school was negligent under Indiana's Child Wrongful Death Statute. The school defended the case based on the theory that Kobi contributory negligence.The jury returned an award in favor of Kobi's parents. The school appealed and the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded for a new trial. It found that the trial court commited reversible error when the trial court gave a jury instruction stating the Indiana law recognized a rebuttable presumption that children from 7 to 14 are rebuttably presumed to be incapable of contributory negligence.

Held: The Appellete Court found no reversible error and affirmed.

Critical Analysis:
Clay City Schools argued that the court committed reversible error when it instructed the jury that the presumption existed. Kobi's parents argued that Indiana law holds that there rebuttable presumption that children between the ages of 7 and 14 are incapable of contributory negligence. The Court stated previously that children between the ages of 7 and 14 held to the standard of whether the child excersised care under circumstances of a child of like age, knowledge, judgment, and experience. The Court held that in no longer applies this standard and that Indiana reconizes the presumption that children between the ages of 7 and 14 are not capable of contributory negligence.

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