Are we lible for medical bills if my son assaulted a a fellow student who had been harassing him?

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Are we lible for medical bills if my son assaulted a a fellow student who had been harassing him?

There is a bully at my son’s school – 6’4″, 270lbs, 16. Pushes, punches, verbally abuses kids in general and my son in particular (6′, 170lbs, 17). This has been going on for months but has not been reported to any adults. At a football film session, the kid pushes my out of a chair. My son hits the kid and knocks him out (concussion/looses tooth). My son did not sustain any injuries. The school and football team concluded that the other kid provoked my son and had been harassing him and other kids. The other kid’s parents want us to pay dental bills. Are we liable?

Asked on August 6, 2011 Virginia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Seek legal help in your area as soon as you can.  The conclusion of the school and the personal present is a plus for you but the problems I see are 1. your son is a year older although arguably smaller, and 2. his reaction to what happened was far and above what was necessary under that particular situation.  Yes, I understand that it was probably a culmination of many, many things that have happened prior.  But the fact remains that he threw the first punch.  I might see if there can be any legal action that you can take on your son's behalf like a restraining order.  But if they sue you might have to pay.  Good luck.


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