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Mother sues Schenectady district over son's alleged 2-story fall

Mother sues Schenectady district over son's alleged 2-story fall

Lawsuit seeks unspecified punitive damages
Mother sues Schenectady district over son's alleged 2-story fall
Van Corlaer Elementary School in Schenectady.
Photographer: Eric Jenks/For the Daily Gazette

SCHENECTADY — The parent of a student in the Schenectady City School District has filed a lawsuit against the district, alleging the school is responsible for her son falling two stories over a banister in a stairwell at Van Corlaer Elementary School last year.

Cowaner Sykes, the mother of a special needs student, filed the suit last week. She claims her son suffered serious injuries from the fall, which happened because the school and district failed to provide adequate supervision of her child.

On Nov. 21, 2016, the suit alleges, Sykes' son was walking to a classroom with another student when he leaned over the second-floor stairway banister and fell to the basement, causing "serious personal injuries," according to the lawsuit.

The suit claims the student was unsupervised at the time of the accident, and accused the school and district of a "negligent, grossly negligent, reckless and careless act." 

Neither a district spokeswoman nor Sykes' attorney returned requests for comment Thursday.

The suit further alleges the student's fall caused "severe and serious personal injuries to his mind and body," and that some of the injuries will leave "permanent effects of pain, disability, disfigurement and loss of body function." The plaintiffs said they planned to seek punitive damages.

The suit was filed in state Supreme Court of Schenectady County.

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