A judge has dismissed Lincoln Public Schools from a lawsuit filed by the mother of a Sheridan Elementary student bit and dragged by a dog on the school's playground in 2016.

Jena Lambert sued LPS and the owners of the dog after her daughter, who was a kindergartner at the time, was bit.

According to the lawsuit filed in Lancaster County District Court, the incident left Lambert with more than $20,000 in medical-related expenses.

In a recent ruling, Lancaster County District Judge John Colborn dismissed the Lamberts' claims against LPS.

"While the court finds it unfortunate that the Lamberts suffered injuries, the Nebraska law does not allow recovery on these facts," he wrote in the order.

On April 4, 2016, Lambert and her daughter were at the playground after school when the dog, a pit bull mix, got close enough to the girl to bite her left hand and drag her for several feet.

When the girl's mother approached to help her injured daughter, the dog jumped at the mother and bit her in the stomach.

At the time, the dog was on a leash being held by an 8-year-old child while his mother was cleaning up after the dog.

In the suit, the Lamberts' attorney, John Weis, had alleged LPS was negligent for failing to enforce its "no dogs" policy on the playground because staff and students still were present in the building.

Colborn said LPS policy did not completely prohibit dogs; they were allowed on school grounds as long as they were under control.

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A "no dogs" sign posted in the playground area also didn't apply after school hours, he said.

Weis had conceded that LPS wasn't required to provide constant, around-the-clock supervision of the playground, but he maintained the school should have had supervision at the time of the dog bite, about 4:30 p.m., because students still were in the building for after-school programs.

Colborn said the after-school programs were completely distinct from LPS, and there was no policy or regulation that required the school to supervise the playground after hours.

The lawsuit remains open against the dog's owners, Kristine Griffin and Brian Griffin.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7237 or lpilger@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSpilger.




Lori Pilger is a public safety reporter.

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