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November 23rd, 2012

School & Daycare Liability for Negligent Supervision of Students Resulting in Sex Abuse

According to the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance, 1 out of every 7 victims of sex abuse is under the age of 6.  While usually child sex abuse involves an adult abuser, other children can and do perpetrate sex abuse on other children. It is a terrible situation for any child (and his/her parents) to be in – being sexually abused by another student. It happens not only in schools, but also day care centers and under Pennsylvania and New Jersey law, schools can be held liable in a situation where a student sexually assaults another student.

Claims of Negligent Supervision Against a School for Sex Abuse by Another Student

Under tort or negligence law in PA and NJ, a person or business is negligent when it fails to use reasonable care to prevent injury to another. Reasonable care is usually defined as the care that a reasonably prudent person would use in the same circumstances. Negligence can be a direct action or failure to act, and either can subject a person or business to liability.These are the guiding principles of negligence which are applied in cases of sex abuse in schools, daycare centers, summer camps, etc.

In the context of a school and sex abuse of a student by a student, what is reasonable depends on the circumstances. Sex abuse usually occurs when the victim is alone with the abuser. In a school setting, two students should not usually be alone for more than a few minutes at a time. So, when sex abuse occurs over an extended period of time, either in an isolated event or over days, weeks or months, the school may be liable for negligently supervising the students. In other words, students should not be left alone, and schools can be liable for failing to properly supervise students.

For more information, contact a civil sex abuse lawyer who handles school sex abuse cases.

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School Sex Abuse Lawyer in Pennsylvania & New Jersey

Laffey Bucci D’Andrea Reich & Ryan handles school sex abuse cases in the Northeast area with offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.  Attorneys at the firm are licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In addition, the firm has the resources and experience to handle school sex abuse cases in all states and welcomes calls from local counsel about potential cases. Click To Call