Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Schools, negligent supervision, and punitive damages.

Practice point:  The Appellate Division reversed, and dismissed the claims of negligent supervision and punitive damages in this action for damages allegedly sustained when plaintiff was assaulted in a school hallway by a fellow student's family members.

The school district established its prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by demonstrating that it had no actual or constructive knowledge or notice of any dangerous conduct on the part of the fellow student's family, and that the attack on plaintiff was thus not reasonably foreseeable. Plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact.

Student note:  New York does not recognize a separate cause of action for punitive damages, and, in any event, punitive damages are not available against the school district because it is a public corporation.

Case:  Dixon v. William Floyd Union Free Sch. Dist., NY Slip Op 01289 (2d Dept. 2016)

Here is the decision.

Tomorrow's issue:  Out-of-possession landlords.