In a case involving a high school student who was severely burned in a science class experiment gone awry, plaintiff’s counsel portrayed in detail the pain and anguish plaintiff suffered through during his months in hospitals and inpatient care. The jury awarded a record-breaking verdict of $59 million for past and future pain and suffering. New records are being broken too often with the rise of Nuclear Verdicts™.
The relationship between students and schools in negligence actions in Arizona has been the subject of multiple recent cases. Recently, the Arizona Court of Appeals examined the standards for determining negligence in Arizona. In Hale v. Window Rock Unified School District (“District”), the court discussed the evolution of these school-student relationships within the context of negligence.
California enacted Assembly Bill-218 on October 14, 2019, amending Code of Civil Procedure section 340.1. In doing so, California greatly expanded damages awards available to childhood sexual assault victims, including treble damages against entities that engage in “covering up” childhood sexual assault. One of the principal byproducts of the reform legislation is treble damages claims may be erroneously asserted against public school districts in childhood sexual assault cases. In two recent decisions, California’s appellate courts have vigorously reaffirmed the traditional rule that statutory sovereign immunity under Government Code section 818 bars liability for treble damages claims brought against public entities under Code of Civil Procedure section 340.1.