On July 17, 2013, Christian Amato, age 5, was a camper at the Point O’Woods Association’s day camp in the Town of Old Lyme when he was struck in the eye by a rock that had been thrown by another camper. At the time of the incident, there were approximately 25-30 campers ranging in age from 4-13 years old being supervised by two teenage counselors, and the children had been taken to a rocky beach off Association property to look for and collect rocks. The counselors, who were not permitted to take campers off Association property, had turned their backs on the children and were not watching when the rock was thrown that struck Christian in the eye.
Christian was rushed to Yale-New Haven Hospital with a ruptured left globe and immediately went into surgery. After returning to Texas, where Christian lives, he underwent multiple surgeries to attempt to repair the damage to his eye. He has suffered from and continues to suffer from disfigurement of the pupil of his left eye blocking his vision, causing him partial blindness and astigmatism. While Christian has made progress, he will require additional surgeries in the future and will always have sensitivity to light, double vision, and restricted depth perception. His doctor has said that Christian, now 10 years old, functions “similar to a person with one eye.”
The Reardon Law Firm, P.C. of New London represented Christian in a lawsuit brought in the New London Superior Court against the Point O’Woods Association and several of its members and employees, alleging that the Association failed Christian by allowing its teenaged counselors to take campers off of Association property, failed to supervise and watch over the campers, and provided insufficient staff for the number of campers present. Attorney Joseph M. Barnes assisted on the case.
According to Attorney Robert I. Reardon, Jr. of The Reardon Law Firm, this horrible injury demonstrates just how tragic the results can be when children are not properly cared for.
“When parents leave their children in the custody of adults in a day camp, they expect that their children will be adequately supervised by responsible counselors. This case is an example of how terrible life changing injuries can result when proper training and procedures are not carried out and teenage counselors are left to oversee small children in a high risk area such as a beach. Christian Amato has been left with the type of permanent injury that will affect him in every aspect of his daily life. It will limit his careers and he will always be reminded of the tragic accident he suffered as a very small boy. The Reardon Law Firm is pleased that it has been able to assist Christian by arranging a trust for him that will address his future needs as he lives out the his life with his disability.” Attorney Reardon said.