What's Buggin' You? Problem playground - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

What's Buggin' You? Problem playground

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A Dallas mom is bugged by her son's school after he fell and hurt himself on the playground.

She says it was no regular accident and is calling the school negligent. She wanted answers, and that's when she called FOX 4’s Saul Garza for help.

What happened was a nasty fall for Maricela Lopez's 9-year-old son. It happened on the playground at Wilmer Hutchins Elementary School last month.              

He said he was playing football, he was already in position, he was about to run, and boom! He fell in,” said Lopez.

His leg reportedly became stuck in a big hole in the ground that was an exposed PVC pipe big enough to fit a child's leg.

“I was never contacted,” said Lopez. “This happened at 10 a.m. and my son was sent back to class with an open wound.”

Lopez says she didn't find out until after school, and then took her son to the emergency room.

“He has a scar and you can actually see the meat…his knee at the bottom,” said Lopez.

Lopez’s bill was $1,500.

She says she went to the principal to find out more about the hole and made a surprising discovery.

“Not only one but 14 of them with no covers…throughout the playground,” said Lopez.

Lopez says the school put down plastic cones over the holes and put up caution tape, but no covers -- covers that FOX 4 found at a home improvement store for around $5.

Now, though, the holes are covered with those very same lids we found at the home improvement store.

DISD says it's unclear how long the holes had been exposed.

A spokesman says the pipes are connected to a pipeline that was installed when the school was built in 2011.

FOX 4 is told the covers may have been damaged by mowers or otherwise removed and they are needed because they provide easy access to the valves.

The district says it has no reports of any other students injured by the holes.

The district has already denied Lopez's claim, stating, “…school districts are not liable, they are immune, according to state law.”

“I'm upset because my son got hurt here at the school, not at home; here at school, and I feel the school should be responsible for it.”

 Lopez says she has since hired an attorney to help her settle the bill from the problem playground.


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