This past Friday, Virginia's State Supreme Court ordered a new trial in a school negligence case where school officials had been warned about an imminent fight, yet failed to take any remedial measures to prevent it. Following trial, the jury awarded the plaintiff-student, who sustained terrible personal injuries, $5 million in damages, with the school being responsible for $1.25 million of that sum.

In reviewing the case, however, the appellate court held that a new trial was warranted because the school's liability (or lack thereof) should be assessed based upon whether they were guilty of gross negligence - not merely standard negligence.

Obviously, this standard is different than the prevailing one in New York, which holds its schools to a regular negligence standard (which means that in this case, the jury's verdict would not have been disturbed - at least with respect to the jury's finding that the school was liable). For additional information on this topic, please see "How to Prove Your School Negligence Case Under New York Law."
Jonathan Cooper
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Non-Compete, Trade Secret and School Negligence Lawyer
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