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When is A School District Liable for Physical Injury By One Student to Another?

In New York, it is well settled law that a school district is under a duty to adequately supervise the students in their charge and that it will be held liable for foreseeable injuries proximately related to the absence of adequate supervision.  However, the school district is not an insurer of safety. It cannot be reasonably expected to continuously supervise and control all activities of its students. In fact, a district will not be held liable for every act in which one student may injure another. Despite this, when determining whether a duty to provide adequate supervision has been breached by the school district, a claimant must show that school authorities had sufficient specific knowledge or notice of the dangerous conduct which caused injury; that is, that the third-party acts could reasonably have been anticipated. As a result, a claimant will be required to show that the school had actual or constructive notice of prior similar conduct by the endangering student so that school personal should have been on guard for the claimed conduct. Going even further, even if the duty to supervise is breached then a claimant must still show that the negligence was the proximate cause of the injuries. Therefore, before deciding whether to file a lawsuit against a school district you should speak with an attorney to conduct the required analysis and ensure that you meet all statutory filing requirements.

If you have an educational issue in New York and need legal representation then please contact the New York education attorneys at Bashian & Papantoniou.

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