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Alabama School Cafeteria Accident Serves as a Lesson in Premises Liability



Alabama School Cafeteria Accident Serves as a Lesson in Premises Liability

In a tragic Birmingham school accident, a 5th-grade girl was recently impaled on an exposed metal pole in a Birmingham elementary school cafeteria. In the school’s cafeteria, cafeteria tables are outfitted with individual plastic seats, which are attached to metal poles.

According to Stacy Minnifield, the student’s mother, a school nurse called her around lunch time to inform her about her daughter’s accident. Minnifield’s daughter later explained how the accident occurred. As most young students do, she simply went to the lunchroom, received her lunch tray, and went to sit down. However, when she went to sit down, she did not notice there was not a bar stool where she planned to sit. She “plopped down, immediately felt the pole, and that’s when she started to hurt”, according to the mother.

The accident caused both rectal bleeding and bleeding towards the front and private areas. In the aftermath of this horrific accident, the Birmingham City School Superintendent’s office provided a statement, noting that all school cafeterias had been updated and that all student seating was now up to standards.

Of course, the mother views the accident as one that should have been entirely avoidable. In her words, the family is now left with an injury that is more than physical. The hurt and embarrassment of a young 10-year-old girl being impaled in front of her classmates and teachers is an embarrassing ordeal that only adds to the extreme physical pain.

As such, it would not be surprising to see a lawsuit filed in the coming days and/or weeks on premises liability grounds.

Premises Liability Law in Alabama

Premises liability is an area of personal injury law focused on the conditions of a property and the unnecessary injuries suffered by victims when a given property is negligently dangerous.

Ordinarily, it is difficult to win in a premises liability lawsuit since it must be shown that a property owner/employer knew or should have known of the property’s dangerous condition that caused the harm. In this cafeteria case, however, it seems that the mother and injured daughter have a strong case on premises liability grounds. The exposed metal pole should have been readily apparent, given that the pole was exposed in plain sight to all passersby.

In such a case, the condition of the property itself can serve as grounds for legal liability if no corrective actions were taken to fix the property and restore it to a safe condition. If you or a loved one has been similarly victimized by dangerous property conditions that an employer or property owner should have known about, you may be entitled to legal compensation.


Noel B. Leonard is an Alabama injury attorney who representing victims injured in a premises liability accident. From his office in Foley, Noel represents injury claims in Foley as well as Baldwin, Mobile and Escambia Counties.

Contact Alabama injury lawyer Noel B. Leonard or call 251-943-8638 for a legal consultation to discuss your premises liability injuries and accident case.

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