The decision by the State's High Court to uphold the Appellate Court's ruling provides us with clear case law that all public schools have an obligation to their students and families to provide a safe environment
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) August 12, 2010
The California Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal filed by the Los Angeles Unified School District in a case that seeks to hold the school district responsible for an assault and battery of a second-grade student enrolled in an after-school program at a Los Angeles elementary school.
The move by the Court effectively upholds a unanimous decision issued earlier this year by the California Courts of Appeal, Second Appellate District, in which the Appellate Court held that the Los Angeles Unified School District has a duty to exercise due care in supervising children while on school premises. This duty applies to voluntary after school and before school programs and at all times when students are on school grounds.
The case, Agbeti v. Los Angeles Unified School District (Los Angeles County Superior Court Case No. B211052 and 2010 DJDAR 4556), stemmed from a disturbing 2005 incident in which a second-grade girl enrolled in an after-school program was allegedly harassed and sexually assaulted by a fellow student on the playground of a Los Angeles elementary school.
The student's mother filed a police report regarding the incident and then sued the school district, the school, the playground supervisor, and other school employees for negligent supervision of school premises. The trial court (Los Angeles County Superior Court) granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants, finding that schools do not owe a duty of care to children participating in voluntary after school programs and that no special relationship existed, requiring evidence of specific prior similar "bad conduct."
The victim's civil attorney, Howard Kornberg of The Law Offices of Howard Kornberg, along with the firm of Kreindler & Kreindler, partner Stuart Fraenkel, appealed the trial court's decision. Kornberg argued to the Appellate Court that the school district's duty to exercise reasonable supervision of children extends to after-school programs and does not end just because the school day is over. It also imposes liability without proof of prior similar conduct that gave the school notice of a specific danger.
"The decision by the State's High Court to uphold the Appellate Court's ruling provides us with clear case law that all public schools have an obligation to their students and families to provide a safe environment," said Howard Kornberg, whose Los Angeles-based law firm has more than 30 years of experience handling personal injury and wrongful death cases. "Armed with this victory, we will now return to the trial court and our client will finally have an opportunity to pursue justice in the civil courts for the school's negligent conduct."
About Kornberg Law Firm
For more than 30 years, The Law Offices of Howard Kornberg has provided meaningful representation to people throughout Southern California who have suffered serious personal injury or the wrongful death of a loved one. Kornberg is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell, the highest rating given to attorneys for legal trial skills and ethical standards. For more information or to schedule a free consultation with an experienced lawyer, please go to http://www.kornberglawfirm.com or call toll-free 866.685.7259.