LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. — The parents of a Lake Oswego girl who broke her back after she slipped and fell on a snowy, icy walkway in 2016 are suing the Lake Oswego School District and the principal of Lakeridge High School for $1.7 million.
On January 5, 2016, Taylor Rockwood, then a 14-year-old freshman at Lakeridge High School, slipped on a walkway on school grounds that was covered in snow, ice and slush. She fell on her back and buttocks and briefly lost consciousness.
When Rockwood regained consciousness, she complained of severe back pain and numbness and loss of feeling in her legs. A doctor later diagnosed Rockwood with a fracture of the L-1 vertebrae.
The lawsuit claims the school district and school were negligent in their responsibilities to shovel or de-ice the walkway. The district was aware of the dangerous conditions; they had delayed the start of school two hours that morning because of the weather.
The lawsuit also names Jennifer Schiele, the principal of Lakeridge High School, as a defendant. According to the lawsuit, Schiele responded quickly after Taylor's fall and instructed her to stand.
When Taylor said she couldn't and complained of pain in her back and numbness in her legs, Schiele had her moved into a wheelchair and wheeled inside the school, where she again instructed the girl to stand up and move. All of this was done before Taylor could be evaluated by medically trained personnel, and the lawsuit claims these actions "aggravated and exacerbated" Taylor's injuries.
Taylor has undergone various treatments and medications since the injury, including steroid injections, physical therapy and oxycodone. She will be required to undergo back surgery for disc replacement or vertebrae infusion in the future, according to the lawsuit.
Taylor continues to suffer from chronic back pain and numbness in her legs and feet, among other maladies, according to the lawsuit. She also has trouble sleeping and suffers from anxiety and depression.
The lawsuit claims she has an increased susceptibility to arthritis and degenerative disc disease, and will have trouble the rest of her life with tasks such as sitting, driving, lifting, running and swimming. She will be limited physically, including in her ability to become pregnant and carry a baby to term.