In Shannea M. v. City of New York, the jury found that the City of New York was not negligent for the plaintiff’s injuries that she sustained when she was allegedly raped in a public middle school bathroom. The plaintiff appealed taking issue with the trial court’s instruction to the jury that the City could not be held negligent unless it had actual or constructive notice of similar, prior incidents in school bathrooms. Despite the plaintiff’s argument that no notice was required, the Second Department upheld the jury instruction, emphasizing that schools are not insurers of students’ safety and they are simply obligated to exercise such care as a parent of ordinary prudence would observe under comparable circumstances. Moreover, the Second Department held that a failure to provide adequate supervision requires evidence that authorities had specific knowledge or notice of the conduct that caused the injury.
Thanks to Lora Gleicher for her contribution to this post.