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Quadriplegic Injury For Diving Incident And Improper Removal From Pool

Settlement: $3.5 Million | Stanislaus County Superior Court | Baker v. Modesto City Schools District

The plaintiff was doing an entry dive, as he had done numerous times before, into a warm-up area of the pool at the Johansen campus, where the water was approximately 3.5 feet deep. Despite being responsible for organizing, running, and charging admission for this tournament, defendant’s employees provided no supervision to enforce their professed rule against this type of dive.

As a result of this incident, the client suffered a C7 ASIA Class C quadriplegic. Stabilizing surgeries were performed at the C5 through C7 levels at University of California San Francisco following his injury. The plaintiff experienced neurogenic bowel and bladder (including multiple urinary tract infections), right elbow bursitis, severe spasticity due to spinal cord injury, dysfunction of his reflexes, restrictive lung disease, scoliosis secondary to his injury, right hip contractures, hand contractures, likely osteoporosis, neuropathic and myofascial pain, and right shoulder pain.

Plaintiffs contended that defendant’s employees failed to provide a safe environment for high school students. Plaintiffs were also critical of how the employees allowed Mr. Baker to be removed from this pool, and placed on the pool deck with his head to the side. Defendant contended liability claiming that plaintiff was 100 percent responsible for his own injury. The matter settled at mediation.

Merced Sun Star Article: James Burns: Buhach Colony’s Baker on road to recover after diving accident