Friday, March 25, 2022

Cleveland v. Taft Union High School Dist. (Cal. Ct. App. - March 25, 2022)

What first caught my attention in this opinion was the caption: Cleveland v. Taft Union High School District.

It reminded me of the relevant presidents: Cleveland and Taft. Who weren't separated all that far apart, after all. Indeed, back in the day (e.g., 17 years ago), there was a television documentary series about the various presidents, and episode five was entitled . . . "Cleveland to Taft". Neat.

The underlying facts of the opinion, by contrast, involve a serious tragedy. A 16-year old high school student with a history of being bullied seriously injures another high school student by shooting him in the stomach with a shotgun. A jury finds the school district 54 percent responsible by failing to adequately respond to a ton of warnings that the shooter was at risk of doing precisely what he did. The school district's overall liability is around $2 million.

The Court of Appeal affirms.

This kind of stuff has got to be taken seriously. For a ton of reasons.

Perhaps the least of which is because school districts might well be spanked with liability if they don't.