In Lizardo v. Board of Educ. of the City of N.Y., the First Department granted the defendants summary judgment on the basis that schools and teachers cannot be held liable for the thoughtless or careless acts through which one pupil injures another. Lizardo, a fourth grader, was injured during a kickball game in physical education class when another student collided with him. Allegations of negligence in failing to properly supervise the game and failing to instruct the children on the rules of the game were asserted. In granting the defendants’ summary judgment motion, the court held that there was no evidence that the collision was anything other than “a sudden, impulsive act that could not reasonably have been foreseen or prevented.” In fact, nothing had occurred before the incident to suggest heightened supervision or a need to remind the students of the rules of the game of kickball.
Thanks to Lora Gleicher for her contribution to this post.