Family sues school district after teacher slams student's fingers in a door

Family sues school district after a teacher slammed student’s fingers in a door. (Photo: Getty Images)

After a middle school teacher allegedly slammed a classroom door onto a student’s hand hard enough for it to sever three of her fingertips, her family is suing the Maryland school district for negligence.

According to the lawsuit, obtained by the Capital Gazette, a MacArthur Middle School student was airlifted to the hospital in early October 2017 after her French teacher, Steven Akers, closed the door on her hand. The student, who is a minor, allegedly got up to ask Akers a question when she placed her left hand on “the door jam of the class door frame.” The teacher was then attempting to get the class’ attention and “slammed the door directly on (the student’s) fingers, namely her pointer, middle and ring fingers, severing the tips of all three fingers.”

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The school’s principal called 911 before the student was brought to Union Memorial Hospital, where she got surgery on her fingers. Her father, Javier Benitez, and the family’s attorney, Stephen Campen, claim that the incident has left the student with significant deformities to her middle and ring fingers. 

“She was in the process of trying to teach herself how to play the piano but has had to discontinue that pursuit,” Campen wrote in the suit.

WRC reports that recent court documents reveal the student has suffered permanent injuries and nerve damage despite having gotten the surgery. The case of negligence comes from the teacher not having checked if a student was in the path of the door.

Benitez is seeking $75,000 from the Anne Arundel County school board. And although the school didn’t dispute that the incident happened or resulted in the student needing surgery, according to the Capital Gazette, the district claims that the medical costs only added up to $1,459 and that the student’s physician called her surgical recovery “unremarkable.”

A spokesperson for the Anne Arundel County School District tells Yahoo Lifestyle that he cannot comment on pending litigation, but says that Akers resigned from his position as a teacher in February 2018.

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