This is a most disturbing story. And it is not the first one to come out of the India school system in recent months. (See, e.g., Principal on Student's Death: "We Can't Take Responsibility For Each and Every Kid.")

The father of a 13 year-old girl who died yesterday has now filed a formal complaint against his daughter's school, claiming that the school's negligence was responsible for his daughter's death. Assuming that the factual allegations in this case are verified, I don't blame this father one bit.

The details are as follows: after complaining that she wanted to return home and seek medical attention during the middle of her school day because she wasn't feeling well, the girl's principal refused this request, and instead insisted that she remain in school until the end of the day. Unfortunately, by the time she was finally able to seek appropriate medical treatment, it was too late, as her condition had deteriorated considerably.

As a practical matter, I believe that the father will have a difficult time demonstrating that this delay in and of itself proximately caused his daughter's death, which means that he would have an uphill battle proving a school negligence claim under New York law. But that doesn't mean the school is right either.
Jonathan Cooper
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Non-Compete, Trade Secret and School Negligence Lawyer
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