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How NY"s New Rule in Negligent Supervision Cases Can Lead to Bad Results


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12/11/2011
Jonathan Cooper
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Last year, in "NY Court Holds Child's Risky Behavior Doesn't Bar School Negligence Claim," we discussed the Court of Appeals' (the highest State court in New York) opinion in Trupia v. Lake George Central School District, which held that other than in the case of athletic or sporting activities, a court should not dismiss as a matter of law negligent supervision claims.

As a matter of pure legal theory, I think the rule is sound.

As a practical matter, however, it means that there may be cases that are extremely weak on liability that are allowed to survive and clog the courts' dockets.

I believe that the Nassau County case of Hallwood v. Daniels, a decision that was handed down on December 6 (and is scheduled to appear in tomorrow's edition of the New York Law Journal) is exactly one such case.

Here are the pertinent facts: the 15 year-old plaintiff and some friends were injured while jumping off the one-story roof of the defendant's garage and onto a nearby trampoline.

Yes, I think this case is ridiculous. And I doubt that I'm alone in that sentiment.

It just seems that there are some unintended consequences for this otherwise good law.


Category: School Negligence / Personal Injury

Jonathan Cooper
Employment Litigation and School Negligence Lawyer

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