Should Universities and Colleges Have a Duty to Protect Students from Violent Attacks?

March 21, 2018
On behalf of The Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg Posted in Personal Injury

After a former UCLA student was stabbed in a university lab in 2009, an appeals court ruled that universities and colleges could not be held liable for failure to keep students safe on campus, as they had no duty to do so. However, the case was recently revived in the California Supreme Court, where that decision has been overturned. Stating that colleges and universities “have a special relationship with their students and a duty to protect them from foreseeable violence during curricular activities”, meaning that former student is permitted to attempt to prove at trial that UCLA had previously been made aware of her attacker’s violent tendencies.

California Colleges and Universities Have a Duty to Protect Students

Noting that UCLA markets itself as one of the safest campuses in the United States, the California Supreme Court ruled that Katherine Rosen should be able to try and prove that the university knew her attacker had suffered from paranoid delusions, had a history of violence, and had spoken to a member of teaching staff about his feelings towards Ms. Rosen. According to the recent court ruling, the legal question asked in cases like this will be “whether a reasonable university could foresee that its negligent failure to control a potentially violent student, or to warn students who were foreseeable targets of his ire, could result in harm to one of those students”.

As such, if it is proven that UCLA should have warned Ms. Rosen about the potential risk, they may be held responsible for harm to her, and other victims of similar circumstances.

Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney – How We Could Help

If you have sustained injuries in an attack, whether on campus or not, a personal injury lawyer from the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg could help you recover the damages and compensation you deserve. You, and others attending your college, university, or other institution, should be able to attend curricular and extra-curricular activities without fear of attack from a fellow student. Do not let the California Supreme Court ruling make you feel that you can easily represent yourself – proving liability in a personal injury claim will still be a complex matter, requiring extensive legal knowledge and experience.

With over 35 years of experience as a Los Angeles personal injury attorney, the legal team at the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg are well-placed to handle your case expertly, securing the successful outcome you are hoping for. Through putting this experience, and our in-depth knowledge of Los Angeles personal injury law, to work, your attorney could handle every aspect of your lawsuit, leaving you free to rest and recover from both physical and emotional trauma.

Every case is different, and you can rest assured that your Riverside personal injury attorney understands this and will tailor their legal representation accordingly.

To discuss your circumstances with an outstanding Los Angeles personal injury attorney, call the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg today on 310-997-0904.


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