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Award-winning Tarpon Springs librarian sues for injuries from exploding school toilet

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A Tarpon Springs librarian is suing the city after a school toilet exploded and shards of porcelain penetrated her leg.

On Nov. 29, 2012, city employees were working on water lines at Tarpon Springs Fundamental Elementary School during operational hours to address what they called “pressure issues.” The city never informed the school or school board that work was going to be done, and no notice was given to students and employees.

Anne Burson, a 68-year-old Palm Harbor resident, was in the library when she heard a “a loud explosion” from the women’s restroom. After she went to investigate the noise, Burson discovered pieces of porcelain scattered around a stall next to the remains of a toilet. Burson alerted one of the city workers.

After cleaning the area, the worker told her that the restroom was safe to use.

Later that day, Burson went to use the restroom. She entered the larger bathroom stall. Burson was washing her hands when another toilet exploded, sending large shards of porcelain across the stall and into her leg.

Burson is suing the City of Tarpon Springs on one count of negligence. She seeks compensation for damages that include: bodily injury, scarring and medical expenses.

The city was notified of the incident by Burson’s attorneys, they have not yet received a response.

Burson has received many awards for her achievements as a teacher and librarian.

According to a Saint Petersburg Times article in 2006 about her nomination for the Pinellas Education Foundation’s Outstanding Educator recognition program, Burson began teaching in 1974, and earned a master’s degree in library science from the University of South Florida. She is a board-certified teacher, librarian and technology specialist at Tarpon Springs Fundamental. Also in 2006, Burson went to Washington, D.C. to accept an award as Pinellas County’s only No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School. Burson also became the first recipient of the Florida Power Library Award in 2009; her Facebook page says she worked for a time at Dunedin High School.

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