Bearspaw student strangled by lanyard prompts $17M lawsuit
Nicholas Kiitzul suffered a severe brain injury after he was found hanging from a lanyard
A multimillion-dollar lawsuit has been launched by the parents of a student who almost died after being strangled by a lanyard at his school in Bearspaw just west of Calgary.
A court document obtained by CBC alleges those involved failed to provide a break-away lanyard or implement a buddy system for students going to the washroom — factors that the suit suggests could have prevented such a serious injury.
The document also outlines the extent of the boy's injuries.
Defendants named in suit
- Rocky View Schools Division.
- School employee.
- Nicholas's Grade 3 teacher.
- Company that donated non-breakaway lanyards to the Alberta Teachers' Association.
- Alberta Teachers' Association.
"As a result of the injuries sustained by Nicholas Kitzul, he will be unable to lead a normal life and will not be able to engage in many of the aspects that comprise a normal, youthful and happy life," the document states.
Kamila and Grant Kitzul are suing for more than $17 million.
Nicholas Kitzul was eight years old when his teacher gave him a lanyard to sign out of class to use the washroom in December 2012.
The lawsuit claims that another child discovered the Grade 3 student about four minutes later hanging by the lanyard, which was around his neck.
It states the cord had become caught on a washroom cubicle door.
The child was rushed to hospital. He spent four months there, including a week in the ICU with a breathing tube.
The statement of claim explains Nicholas suffered a severe brain injury.
The boy is now tube-fed, wheelchair-bound, unable to speak or communicate and has to wear diapers.
"The action was caused solely due to the negligence of the defendants," reads the document.
None of the allegations have been proven in court and a statement of defence hasn't yet been filed.