Can you sue a public school in pa ?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can you sue a public school in pa ?

My 9 yr old daughter was injured yesterday by a fellow classmate which resulted in her being rushed to the hospital to have the tip of her finger and nail bed sewn back on. The school stated the boy will be suspended for 3 days but from what I’m hearing for other classmates as well as her homeroom teacher the student has behavior issues and has had for some time the teacher advised me 5 students wrote reports about what happened to my daughter and they witnessed him threatening to lock her in the closet in the classroom and when she entered in the closet to retrieve her back he slammed the door which cause the fracture to her finger. As stated she was sent to the emergency room which transferred her to CHOP to have her finger stitch it the finger is the right index finger my daughter has an appointment with the ortho doctor this coming Monday to eval to see if any nerve damage. What should I do? Oh and the student will be returning to her class the Monday this is unacceptable. Would this be considered an exception due to him having prior history and the school being aware of his issues?

Asked on September 14, 2017 under Personal Injury, Pennsylvania


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You could sue the school district for negligence for not adequately supervising the kid, who injured your daughter, even though the school district was aware of the kid's behavior problems. 
Prior to filing a lawsuit against the school district, it may be possible to settle the case with the school district. Notify the school district's insurance carrier of your daughter's personal injury claim.  When your daughter completes her medical treatment and is released by the doctor or is declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary which means having reached a point in her treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain her medical bills and medical reports. Your daughter's personal injury claim filed with the school district's insurance carrier should include those items.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports document the injury and are used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.
If the case is settled with the school district's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the school district's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence on behalf of your daughter against the school district. You will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on behalf of your daughter because she is a minor.
If the case is NOT settled, the lawsuit for negligence against the school district must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your daughter will lose her rights forever in the matter.

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 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.

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