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School District to Pay Teen $100,000 after "Drunk Goggles" Injury

KAYSVILLE, Utah (CBS NEWS) -- A Utah school district agreed to pay $100,000 to the family of a teenage girl who was injured while wearing goggles to simulate drunkenness in a 2014 health class experiment.
    
The Davis School District will put more than $61,000 into a trust account for Kylie Nielsen to settle a personal-injury lawsuit, The Standard-Examiner reported Wednesday. She can get access to that money when she turns 18.
    
The district also agreed to pay $13,000 for medical expenses and nearly $26,000 for legal fees. The settlement was reached about two months ago, according to district spokeswoman Shauna Lund.
    
Nielsen was 13 when she participated in an exercise to simulate alcohol impairment at Centennial Junior High School north of Salt Lake City. Her teacher, Rick Smith, encouraged students to play tag and run around a classroom while wearing “drunk goggles,” according to court documents.
    
Nielsen’s foot got stuck in a desk, and she broke her ankle in multiple places, requiring two surgeries. It also resulted in one of Nielsen’s legs being shorter than the other, and pain and swelling when she does any physical activity, her parents said.
    
Lund on Tuesday called it a “tragic accident.”
    
“We are sorry for all Kylie went through as a result of it,” she said.
    
Miles LeBaron, the family’s attorney, did not respond to phone and email messages.
    
Nielsen ran track and had qualified for an all-star track meet the day she was injured, according to the lawsuit. She could not compete in the meet because of the injury and has since switched to playing golf, the claim said.
    
The teacher “breached a duty owed to her by failing to act with reasonable care,” according to the school district’s statement in court papers.
    
Smith left the school district, but officials have not said when or why.

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