NORTH PORT— Sarasota County School Board is being sued for more than $45,000 in two separate lawsuits regarding North Port High School.

A negligence suit filed in June of 2018 is expected to go to trial Feb. 24.

Shawnda Brooks and her daughter Shyene, who was a student at NPHS, are suing for $15,000. The suit alleges NPHS negligently failed to properly maintain gym equipment and allowed equipment to remain in a dangerous manner. As a result, Shyene, who was taking gym classes at NPHS in 2017, fell onto a piece of equipment and sustained injuries, the suit claims.

As a result of the injury, Shyene and her mother incurred medical expenses, the suit claims.

The suit also states the school failed to inspect and maintain gym equipment and failed to warn Shyene about the danger.

The suit is set for a trial at 9 a.m. Feb. 24 in the Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court before Judge Hunter W. Carroll.

Another suit of similar nature was filed January 22, 2020 by parent Joe Kenny, on behalf of his child, who is named in the suit as C.K. The suit alleges his child was enrolled in “HOPE” health and fitness class at North Port High School.

As part of the curriculum, students were required to run one mile each Wednesday on the outdoor track, the suit stated.

David Catalfino was in charge of the class. According to the suit, on Jan. 23, 2019, Catalfino was late, leaving 30 students unsupervised in the track area. The student in the suit was injured while trying to jump over one of two tractor tires “arbitrarily placed in the outdoor area adjacent to the track and field,” the suit states.

The suit alleges Sarasota County School Board “breached its duty of care” including creating a dangerous condition, failing to warn of the dangerous condition, failing to identify and eradicate the dangerous condition, failing to properly and adequately supervise students prior to the start of HOPE classes, failing to provide an adequate number of teachers and staff for the outdoor area of the school, among other allegations of negligence listed in the suit.

As a result of the school board’s negligence, the suit states, the parent was required to pay for medical care for his child. The family is suing for $30,000 and demands a jury trial. No trial has been set.


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