Teacher's Arm-Wrestling Contest Ends Very Badly

For the student and for Zach Larkin, who is being sued
By Derek Andersen,  Newser User
Posted May 15, 2014 8:14 AM CDT
Updated May 18, 2014 10:41 AM CDT
Sometimes winning is not worth the consequences.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – Zach Larkin may have initially emerged the winner of an arm-wrestling contest, but the glory was very, very short-lived. The popular Orange County, Calif., high school teacher faces a civil suit over the June 2013 contest—during which he broke a 17-year-old student's arm. Court documents filed Monday allege Larkin challenged then-junior Austin Lazarus to the contest after his AP history class wrapped up; other students urged Lazarus to step up to the plate, says his mom. He did, and the Villa Park High School teacher allegedly used both hands and his full body weight to win, the Orange County Register reports.

"If he hadn’t escalated it and (Lazarus') arm had just broken in a normal arm wrestling competition, there'd be no lawsuit," the boy's lawyer says. But per the suit, "Lazarus' arm was torqued to the point of snapping." Larkin, who has been at the school since 2008 and also coaches water polo, showed "poor judgment," says Lazarus' mother, adding that her son's arm has healed slightly crooked. Larkin and the school have not commented on the case, but Lazarus told the newspaper that he has been taunted at school over the incident. Students "would come up to me and say, 'Hey Austin, you want to arm wrestle? Hopefully, I won’t break your arm.'" (Click to read about another ill-advised move by a teacher.)

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