A cheerleader who was stomped in a muddy pit during a high school back-t0-class event in 2010 has been awarded $400,000 in damages by the school, reports the New York Post. Megan Taylor was a 17-year-old senior at Kickapoo High School in Missouri when the events occurred. She said she was pushed from behind and fell on her face in a “mosh pit” at an event called How Night. The event was sponsored by the student council.
“I started screaming, telling them to get off because I was feeling really crushed. And I felt like everything was kind of just getting squished,” Taylor said during a 2017 deposition. “And then I felt my shoulder pop.”
Taylor reportedly lost consciousness multiple times as she was stomped. A fellow student was able to drag her to safety as other teens continued to jump and throw mud at one another, having fun in the mud pit that had been a complete nightmare for Taylor. Taylor not only fractured her collarbone that day, she was also left with permanent damage to her heart and the surrounding tissue.
Since the incident that occurred in 2010, Taylor, now 25, has had four strokes and as a result now has permanent brain damage, including severe dementia and temporary total blindness. She was forced to miss two months of her senior year and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the event.
Taylor filed suit three years ago against the Springfield Public School district and David Simitz, the principal of the school, at the time she was injured. Her suit says that the muddy pit was not properly supervised, and that employees at the school took too long to provide her with emergency medical attention.
The suit was settled over the summer. The school has agreed to pay Taylor $423,106, as well as the cost of her medication (it is unclear if the medication payment is intended to be temporary or for her lifetime needs). Taylor now attends Missouri Southern State University.
The Springfield News-Leader reported that the Springfield Public School District denies any wrongdoing related to the incident, but agreed to settle the lawsuit. In exchange, Taylor agreed to dismiss her civil suit. As part of the agreement, she is not allowed to refile.
The district denies there was ever a planned mud pit activity for How Night, despite the fact that T-shirts for the event reportedly read “There Will Be Mud.”