FREMONT -- The family of a 7-year-old girl with disabilities has sued Fremont, saying she suffered severe head injuries at a city-run summer camp when a counselor tipped over her wheelchair while playing a game last year.

The suit, filed Monday in Alameda County Superior Court, claims that camp employees acted with "gross negligence, carelessness and recklessness" during the incident, which fractured the girl's skull, damaged her brain and caused other injuries.

City Attorney Harvey Levine declined to comment about the lawsuit, saying city policy prevents him from publicly discussing litigation. "The city feels badly when anyone is injured," he said. Fremont rejected the family's claim, which it filed in August. The Fremont girl, mobile only when using a wheelchair, suffers from hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid inside the skull that causes brain swelling. The city had agreed to enroll the girl in the day camp "with full knowledge of her disabilities and physical limitations," the lawsuit asserts.

The accident occurred in June at Oliveira Elementary School when a camp counselor involved the girl in a game of "Duck-Duck-Goose" and helped her chase another person by pushing her wheelchair around a cement patio. As they played, the wheelchair tipped over. The girl fell, striking her head on the ground, according to court documents.


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The injuries suffered that day are permanent, and the exact cost for treating them is unknown because her medical care is ongoing, the plaintiff states.

The lawsuit does not list a specific sum for damages, saying only that the "amount exceeds $25,000."

Contact Chris De Benedetti at 510-353-7011. Follow him at Twitter.com/cdebenedetti.