Ryan Murray was an 8th grader at Bryn Mawr School (now the Bouchet Academy) back in 1992, when it became his turn to try a flip on the trampoline. It was all part of a tumbling class put on there at Bryn Mawr by the Chicago Youth Centers organization.
It was just another day at school for Ryan – and we have to assume that Ryan thought he was going to have fun that day, as he jumped up on the trampoline and began to bounce. But then the accident happened, there on the trampoline while Ryan was doing his flip.
Ryan Murray was critically injured, and the lives of both Ryan and his family were permanently changed that day. In 1992.
Now, EIGHTEEN years later, the defendants — Chicago Board of Education and the Chicago Youth Centers — have finally given up their legal fight to avoid responsibility for this boy, who remains paralyzed and is now 30 years old.
That’s right: this courtroom battle over the financial responsibility for paralyzing a boy during tumbling class has gone on for almost two decades. And now, just before their jury trial was set to begin, they’ve settled.
Ryan and his family have agreed to the settlement of $14,000,000.00. And sure, the defense attorneys acknowledged to the media that the settlement was fueled by a fear of what the jury might decide should be paid. The enormity of that potential jury verdict finally got these defendants to take responsibility.
Two things here.
First, congratulations to the Ryan Murray family for their hard-earned victory.
Second, a lesson to be learned: in this day of public cries for tort reform, let’s remember this case.
Does anyone really think that Ryan Murray’s case would have settled now, after all these years of fighting, if those defendants didn’t have the threat of a unencumbered, no-limits jury award in their face?