Despite school system’s appeal, student allegedly forced to do push-ups owed thousands in damages

Despite school system’s appeal, student allegedly forced to do push-ups owed thousands in damages
East Baton Rouge Parish School System (Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - An appeals court upheld a ruling that the East Baton Rouge Parish School System (EBRPSS) should be partially responsible for paying out over $175,000 awarded to the family of a former McKinley High student who testified the once “outgoing, music-loving, friendly teenager” became introverted, depressed, and suicidal after being ordered to do 200 push-ups, then suffered a life-threatening condition as a result.

In court documents, the First Circuit Court of Appeals explained a jury properly awarded $175,000 in general damages and another $5,000 to the former student’s mother.

The appellate court, however, did reduce money awarded for medical expenses from $10,000 to $8,300 after reviewing an itemized expense exhibit.

The school system can still appeal to the Louisiana Supreme Court.

The 2015 lawsuit states the teen student was several minutes late for band practice in October of 2014. As a result, he was ordered by Jason Jones, the assistant band director, to do 200 push-ups, according to the lawsuit.

The teen was hospitalized for a life-threatening condition known as rhabdomyolysis, which happens when muscles in the body break down and causes the body to release certain enzymes into the bloodstream, court documents state.

“The jury itemized general damages as follows: $50,000 for past physical pain and suffering; $85,000 for past mental pain and suffering; $10,000 for future medical pain and suffering; and $30,000 for loss of enjoyment of life. The jury declined to enter an award for future loss of enjoyment of life,” the appeals ruling states. “The jury awarded [the mother] $5,000 for loss of consortium.”

The school system is also responsible for paying 75% of the $3,713.50 fee for filing the appeal.

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