Student Struck by Horseshoe Causing Significant Injuries

    This case involves a twelve-year-old male who was injured in gym class at a public school. His gym class teacher had provided the students with large, heavy, metal horseshoes to be thrown as a class activity. Additionally, there was little supervision or training provided to the students. During the class, the gym class teacher went into his office to answer a phone call. While in the office, the plaintiff had a horseshoe thrown his way which struck him in the chest. He required extensive surgery and suffered significant injuries as a result of the incident.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Is it acceptable for a gym teacher to allow young students to throw horseshoes towards other students or should they be throwing away from other students?
    • 2. What sort of supervision or training must the teacher provide to his/her students before allowing them to throw heavy, metal horseshoes?

    Expert Witness Response E-006185

    Horseshoes are safely thrown in line with the targeted pin. Other players or spectators should remain behind the thrower at all times. Certainly, the supervisor or instructor’s role is to ensure that adequate safety measures are taken if minors are to be conducting this activity in a school gym class. Furthermore, during the activity, the teacher should remain in a supervisory role at all times. If an emergency requires him/ her to leave the class, students should be instructed to stop participating until the teacher returns.

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