What to do if my child and 2 other students were assaulted by a substitute teacher?

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What to do if my child and 2 other students were assaulted by a substitute teacher?

The police state that he will be charged with assault and battery and my daughter’s story did make the news. Do I have a lawsuit?

Asked on November 5, 2014 under Personal Injury, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You certainly have a lawsuit against the substitute (though if he is being jailed, he may not have the income or assets to pay any judgment). You would only have a lawsuit against the school if there was evidence prior to the assault that the substitute was dangerous and so a reasonable person or school would have taken action to protect children--but your school, despite knowing of the threat, failed to do so. Otherwise, if the school did not fail to take reasonable protective measures, the school (and district and town) would most likely *not* be liable, since an employer is not generally liable for the criminal actions of their employees, since such criminal acts are not part of the employee's job responsibilities. The employer must have been itself negligent, or careless, in some way to incur liability.


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