A jury on Wednesday awarded $41.7 million to a woman who sued her prestigious boarding school after contracting a tick-borne illness on a school trip to China that left her unable to speak and brain damaged, the Associated Press reports. The federal jury in Bridgeport ruled in favor of Cara Munn, 20, in her lawsuit against The Hotchkiss School, a private school in Lakeville. The school said it would appeal. Munn, of New York City, was a ninth-grader at Hotchkiss when she joined a school-supervised trip to China during the summer of 2007, according to her lawsuit. The then-15-year-old suffered insect bites that led to tick-borne encephalitis, her attorneys said. The school failed to ensure that the students take any precautions against ticks and allowed them to walk through a densely wooded area known to be a risk area for tick-borne encephalitis and other tick- and insect-transmitted illnesses, her attorneys said…

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staff and wire services reports