C.H., an infant by her Guardian ad Litem, Brenda Cummings, and BRENDA CUMMINGS, individually, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
RAHWAY BOARD OF EDUCATION, RAHWAY MIDDLE SCHOOL, RAHWAY 7TH AND 8TH GRADE ACADEMY, and GARRY MARTIN Defendants-Respondents.
October 10, 2018
appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Union
County, Docket No. L-3701-15.
C. Cervantes argued the cause for appellants (Forman &
Cardonsky, attorneys; Juan C. Cervantes, on the briefs).
M. Nirenberg argued the cause for respondents (Nirenberg
& Varano, LLP, attorneys; Howard M. Nirenberg, of
counsel; Sandra N. Varano, on the brief).
Judges Yannotti, Gilson, and Natali.
C.H. was injured while playing in a student-teacher
fundraising basketball game. She appeals from an August 23,
2017 order granting summary judgment and dismissing her
claims against defendants, who were her school, the school
board, and a teacher. We affirm because the undisputed facts
establish that defendants did not breach a duty of care to
the facts from the summary judgment record and view them in
the light most favorable to plaintiff. In June 2013,
plaintiff was fourteen years old, in eighth grade, and a
member of her school basketball team.
11, 2013, plaintiff participated in a basketball game in
which a team of teachers played against a team of students.
The game was an annual fundraising event, and student
participation was voluntary. Approximately fifteen teachers
and school safety officials and seventeen students
participated in the game. The game was officiated by at least
one referee. There were also five other teachers who did not
play in the game, but attended to provide supervision.
the game, plaintiff went up for a rebound, and made contact
with defendant Garry Martin, who was a teacher. Plaintiff
landed awkwardly, fell, and injured her knee. At her
deposition, plaintiff described how her injury occurred:
Everyone swarm[ed] in, but the teacher [came] running down,
like, I guess, because he wanted to get the ball, and it was
offensive rebound I was going for. And he went up, I went up.
But he shoved me, like, to get me out of the way so that he
could get the rebound. And when I came down I had to stop
myself from falling. And I couldn't plant right.
counsel questioned plaintiff further as to the details of the
events that preceded her injury. Specifically, counsel asked
and plaintiff answered:
[I]f I understood your testimony, when you went up, everybody
close to the basket went up also?
. . . .
[Counsel] So you are going up for the rebound, and contact is
[Counsel] And do you know who made contact ...