School division reaches settlement with family of child choked by lanyard
The family of a Calgary boy who suffered severe brain damage after nearly strangling on a school lanyard almost seven years ago has settled a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the Rocky View School Division.
Tara Pipella, the Kitzul family lawyer, said the settlement comes as a relief. "Nicholas will be able to move forward, the whole family will be able to move forward with their lives."
Nicholas Kitzul was in the bathroom at Bearspaw School on December 12, 2012 when the hall pass lanyard he was wearing got caught on a door and choked him. The eight-year-old boy, who was in Grade 3, went minutes without breathing.
His family sued the Rocky View School Division and others involved for more than $17 million and a confidentiality agreement attached to the settlement was reached between the parties in December 2018. All sides were in court on Thursday to finalize the agreement.
A media consortium, including CTV News Calgary, was attempting to have the financial details of the agreement released, but the request was denied in court.
Part of the settlement is said to be put towards treatment for Nichols.
"He requires care on a 24 hour basis," said Pipella. "He needs two nannies to take care of him. He needs wheelchairs specialized equipment so that he can bike ride."
"The family's very proactive in getting him the best possible care they can."
The family has been seeking treatment outside of Canada including stem cell therapy in the United States.
"He’s a beautiful soul. He is riding with a modified bike, he’s swimming in a pool and he's starting to make small words like ‘mom’."