Family of boy, 7, killed by bench at school sues for $10M

AP News
|
Posted: Mar 25, 2016 11:54 AM

HACKENSACK, N.J. (AP) — The family of a 7-year-old boy who was killed last year at school when a bench from a folding table attached to a wall fell on him has filed a $10 million lawsuit.

Brendan Jordan's family filed the lawsuit last week in Hackensack, The Record newspaper reported (http://bit.ly/1WMq0e1 ) Thursday. The suit accuses the New Milford School District, the borough's police department and other parties of acting negligently by failing to properly maintain the bench and failing to properly supervise the young athletes.

The suit seeks damages.

Brendan was attending an indoor recreation soccer program at Berkley Elementary School in New Milford in January 2015 when the 108-pound bench came loose and hit him on the side of the head. A police report said the bench's "dead bolt locking mechanism" wasn't engaged and a "backup swivel safety latch" appeared to be missing.

The dead bolt is controlled by a key and used to secure the bench to the wall. The swivel latch is usually on the outside of the casing that holds the bench and is designed as a backup safety feature, according to the police report.

The missing swivel latch wasn't found nearby, the report said, and apparently had been missing "for some time" since rust was seen in the area that held the latch in place.

The bench was folded up against the wall because the room was being used as a gymnasium at the time. The bench is down when the room is being used as a cafeteria.

Francis Leddy III, an attorney for the board of education, declined to comment Thursday because he hasn't reviewed the lawsuit.

"My client hasn't been served yet, to the best of my knowledge," he said.

Jeff Korek, an attorney representing the Jordan family, also declined to comment.

A lawyer for the police department couldn't be reached for comment.

___

Information from: The Record (Woodland Park, N.J.), http://www.northjersey.com