Court upholds $41.5M verdict in student disease lawsuit

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld a $41.5 million verdict against a private Connecticut boarding school that was sued by a former student who became ill and suffered brain damage on a school trip to China.

A three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an appeal by the Hotchkiss School on Tuesday.

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Cara Munn was a student at the school in Salisbury when she contracted tick-borne encephalitis during the 2007 trip when she was 15. Lawyers for the New York City resident say she lost the abilities to speak and move the muscles in her face.

Munn’s lawsuit said the school failed to take precautions against small pest-borne diseases during the trip.

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Hotchkiss lawyers argued schools should not be required to warn students about remote risks.

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