Cite as: 68 A. D. 3d 1035, 891 N. Y. S. 2d 160



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68 A.D.3d 1035, 891 N.Y.S.2d 160, 251 Ed. Law Rep. 890, 2009 N.Y. Slip Op. 09603



(Cite as: 68 A.D.3d 1035, 891 N.Y.S.2d 160)

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.

Sean BRAMSWIG, etc., respondent,

v.

PLEASANTVILLE MIDDLE SCHOOL, et al., appellants.



Dec. 22, 2009.
Background: Middle school student brought action against school, among others, seeking to recover damages for personal injuries he allegedly sustained when teammate struck him in mouth with hockey stick during game of floor hockey in gym class. The Supreme Court, Westchester County, Loehr, J., denied defendants' motion for summary judgment dismissing so much of student's cause of action as was premised upon negligent instruction. Defendants appealed.
Holding: The Supreme Court, Appellate Division, held that proximate cause of student's injuries was not defendants' alleged failure to issue proper instruction regarding act of “highsticking.”

Reversed.


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Proximate cause of alleged injuries sustained by middle school student, who was struck in mouth by teammate's hockey stick during game of floor hockey in gym class, was not school's alleged failure to issue proper instruction regarding act of “highsticking,” and thus school could not be held liable for student's injuries based on theory of negligent instruction.

*161 Henderson & Brennan (Congdon, Flaherty, O'Callaghan, Reid, Donlon, Travis & Fishlinger, Uniondale, N.Y. [Christine Gasser], of counsel), for appellants.
Shaub, Ahmuty, Citrin & Spratt, LLP, Lake Success, N.Y. (Christopher Simone and Kyriakoula Fatsis of counsel), for respondent.
JOSEPH COVELLO, J.P., FRED T. SANTUCCI, CHERYL E. CHAMBERS, and L. PRISCILLA HALL, JJ.
In an action to recover damages for personal injuries, etc., the defendants appeal, as limited by their brief, from so much of an order of the Supreme Court, Westchester County (Loehr, J.), entered December 5, 2008, as denied that branch of their motion which was for summary judgment dismissing so much of the first cause of action as was premised upon negligent instruction.
ORDERED that the order is reversed insofar as appealed from, on the law, with costs, and that branch of the defendants' motion which was for summary judgment dismissing so much of the first cause of action as was premised upon negligent instruction is granted.
The plaintiff, Sean Bramswig, was a 12-year-old seventh grader at the defendant Pleasantville Middle School at the time of the subject occurrence, and allegedly sustained injuries when a teammate struck him in the mouth with a hockey stick during a game of floor hockey. There is no evidence that the plaintiff was intentionally hit with the stick. At his deposition, the plaintiff testified that a teammate had lifted his stick above his waist prior to striking him in the mouth with the stick. The plaintiff's gym teacher testified at his deposition that he had instructed the students prior to the commencement of the game, as well at the beginning of each gym class, that the practice of “highsticking,” which he described as lifting the hockey stick above one's waist, was prohibited while playing floor hockey.
In their motion for summary judgment, the defendants argued, inter alia, that they had provided adequate supervision and instruction to the plaintiff and other participants regarding the floor hockey game. In opposition, the plaintiff argued, among other things, that there was a triable issue of fact as to whether the plaintiff had been adequately instructed as to what constituted a violation of the prohibited practice of the “highsticking” rule, i.e., whether the rule prohibited a player from lifting the hockey stick above his or her waist, or above his or her knees. The Supreme Court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint, except insofar as is sought dismissal *162 of so much the first cause of action as was premised upon negligent instruction.
The defendants demonstrated their prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law with regard to so much of the cause of action as was premised upon negligent instruction. In opposition, the plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact. Even if proper instruction consisted of advice that hockey sticks should not be lifted above the knees, as opposed to above the waist, the person who struck the plaintiff lifted his stick above his waist, thus violating the rule regardless of the interpretation of the rule. Accordingly, the proximate cause of the plaintiff's injuries was not the defendants' alleged failure to issue a proper instruction regarding the act of “highsticking” (see generally Paragas v. Comsewogue Union Free School Dist., 65 A.D.3d 1111, 885 N.Y.S.2d 128;cf. Mei Kay Chan v. City of Yonkers, 34 A.D.3d 540, 824 N.Y.S.2d 380).
Consequently, the defendants were entitled to summary judgment dismissing so much of the first cause of action as was premised upon negligent instruction (see Alvarez v. Prospect Hosp., 68 N.Y.2d 320, 324, 508 N.Y.S.2d 923, 501 N.E.2d 572;Winegrad v. New York Univ. Med. Ctr., 64 N.Y.2d 851, 853, 487 N.Y.S.2d 316, 476 N.E.2d 642).
The plaintiff's remaining contentions are without merit.
N.Y.A.D. 2 Dept.,2009.

Bramswig v. Pleasantville Middle School

68 A.D.3d 1035, 891 N.Y.S.2d 160, 251 Ed. Law Rep. 890, 2009 N.Y. Slip Op. 09603
END OF DOCUMENT



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