MARY JANE FALLON, Plaintiff-Appellant,

Illinois Appellate Court — Second District
Opinion filed October 31, 1986 Rehearing denied December 2, 1986

A student, Mary Jane Fallon, was hurt at school during her physical education class. The teacher of the course was not certified to teach it. Fallon was jumping on a trampoline and fell and she suffered a spinal injury. The argument made by Fallon was that trampolines are an abnormally dangerous and the school should be held liable for injuries that occur at campus. This case was compared to, City of Joliet v. Harwood (1877). In this case, the court ruled that the person who hires the worker is responsible for all damages and injuries that occurs on the job.

The judge ended the case by dismissing the allegations presented by the plaintiff. Counts I, II, and IIi were dismissed because a trampoline does not constitute as being an "abnormally dangerous instrument"-trampolines themselves are not dangerous. Count IV referred to rather the school was liable for the teacher's negligence and lack of teaching credentials. This count was not viable enough for action to be taken, so this count was dismissed as well.

Implication on Teaching:
Schools systems that hire “teachers” who are not certified and properly trained to teach can do a significant amount of harm. In this case, the student had a spinal injury which could have been worst, such as, the student could have easily become paralyzed. The judge in the case referred to such activities as “ultrahazardous activities.” In addition, each child has a different level of athletic ability and doing an activity such as jumping on a trampoline can cause a lot bodily harm. Accidents such as this can make a parent question the school’s ability safety to provide a safe environment for their children.

Quiz Question:
Explain how teachers can be held liable for students that get hurt under their supervision.

By Jasmine Rutledge and Lindsey Little