If my daughter has a sex offense committed against her at school, can I sue the school?

Asked on November 18, 2014 under Personal Injury, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Generally, a school or an employer (e.g. if the attacker were a teacher or other school employee) is not responsible for the criminal actions of other people. The school would only potentially be liable if the school were negligent, or unreasonably careless, in some way. Examples would be if the attacker were a teacher, if there reasons to be suspicious of him (e.g. allegations of improper behavior), but the school did nothing; if the attacker were another student, if the attack were successful because the school did not adequately monitor students and no one noticed your daughter was not where she was supposed to be for an extended or unreasonable amount of time; or if the attack occured because some room or space was both unmonitored and unlocked (like a gym or band room, that should be locked when not in use) and that's where the assault occured; etc.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.