Girl Scout Secures $2.8M Settlement After Fall From Rock
Max Mitchell, The Legal Intelligencer
July 21, 2016
A Girl Scout who allegedly sustained a traumatic brain injury after falling off a rock formation during an outing has settled for nearly $3 million with the Susquehanna County camp where the fall occurred.
According to attorney Thomas F. Sacchetta, the parents of Ashley Bagosy settled their claims with Camp Archbald for $2.8 million. The settlement was made following jury selection Jan. 9. The case, Bagosy v. Camp Archbald, had been filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.
“It was an unfortunate situation for Ashley, who was a minor, and we’re pleased we were able to have her get a substantial amount to sustain her for the future,” Sacchetta said.
According to a pretrial memo filed by Stephen and Marsha Bagosy, who are Ashley Bagosy’s parents, on April 21, 2012, their daughter was a member of a Girl Scouts troop on a trip to Camp Archbald in Kingsley, Pa. She was on the trip with several other girls, and several adults were tasked with supervising the children, the pretrial memo said.
According to the memo, Ashley Bagosy, who was 11 years old at the time, and several other Girl Scouts went outside their camp unsupervised. During the unsupervised outing, Bagosy allegedly fell off a rock formation and then rolled about 20 feet, according to the plaintiffs’ memo. The plaintiffs further contended that during the fall, Bagosy struck her head, back, neck and extremities.
According to the memo, the girls Bagosy was with brought her back to the cabin, where Bagosy remained for some time. After adults who were supervising the children realized that Bagosy was “disheveled, confused and not responding properly,” she was driven by one of the adults to a hospital, where she was examined and released.
According to the plaintiffs’ pretrial memo, Bagosy sustained a traumatic brain injury in the fall, which led to memory, cognition, speech and behavioral problems.
The plaintiffs alleged in their complaint that the camp was negligent for failing to control the campers, and that it negligently hired, managed and controlled its employees. The plaintiffs additionally alleged in the complaint that the camp failed to have adequate safety protocols in place.
The plaintiffs noted that Bagosy was treated at numerous medical facilities, including the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and Johns Hopkins Medical Center, and contended that Bagosy had been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury.
Although four organizations related to the Girl Scouts were initially sued, the entities were discontinued from the case in May pursuant to a stipulation that they had no involvement with either the camp or the incident.
The camp, in its pretrial memo, argued that the girls had been assisting with the cleanup of the camp, and that Bagosy had been jumping from one large rock to another when she fell. The camp further argued that the area was not dangerous.
“Camp Archbald is located in the Endless Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania and is a natural area that contains rocks, trees and changes in elevation,” the camp’s memo said. “There was nothing dangerous or hazardous about the location where the incident occurred.”
The damages that Bagosy sustained, the plaintiffs argued in their memo, were both economic and non-economic, and included medical expenses. The plaintiffs additionally argued that Bagosy’s future earning capacity would be limited due to the fall, and that her injuries may be permanent.
Bagosy, the plaintiffs also contended in their memo, was “high-achieving” before the accident. The plaintiffs also noted that she swam competitively, and had competed in the Junior Olympics.
Max Mitchell can be contacted at 215-557-2354 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter@MMitchellTLI
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