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Woman wins $41 million after getting sick during school trip

By Mason White 5:22 AM March 28, 2013
Cara Munn 

By: Moses Gold
A woman received millions of dollars in compensation after becoming sick during a school trip, according to court proceedings in Connecticut.

A Connecticut jury awarded the student of a school $41.7 million in damages this week after the student contracted a serious disease during a trip to China.

Cara Munn, 20, was on a school trip to China when she was a freshman at the Hotchkiss School, a prestigious boarding school in Lakeville, Connecticut. During her trip, Munn said she suffered multiple insect bites while walking through a densely wooded area known to be a high-risk place for insects that carry encephalitis.

The school, according to Munn, did not advise students about precautions to prevent serious illness, so she decided to file a lawsuit.
Munn still suffers from brain damage and cannot speak due to encephalitis.

“Hotchkiss School failed to take basic precautions to protect children under their care,” attorney Antonio Ponvert III, said. “I hope this case will help to alert all schools that sponsor foreign travel of minors that they need to check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about the areas in which they are traveling.

They should also advise children in their care to use repellent and wear appropriate clothing when necessary. Munn’s illness was easily preventable,” the attorney also said.

“Cara Munn was such a lively student. Now, she is suffering tremendously. She is unable to speak. I can hardly believe that this is the same person,” a Hotchkiss School student who knows Munn told YourJewishNews.com.

The school, however, plans to appeal the jury’s decision, arguing that the encephalitis is very rare therefore there was no reason to warn about the disease.