Bullying is a terrible problem in schools these days. Sometimes, a Massachusetts personal injury or wrongful death claim can arise from injuries caused by bullies. While each case stands on its own facts, a common issue in such cases is, “is the school liable?” In a case that made its way all the way to the state’s highest court, it was held that neither the school district nor teachers to whom reports of bullying had previously been made were liable for an incident that put a young student in a wheelchair for life.
Facts of the Case
In a recent case, the plaintiffs were the parents of a fourth grader who was pushed down the stairs by a classmate at his public elementary school in 2008. Although the extent of the boy’s injuries was not immediately apparent, he complained of tingling and numbness in his extremities a few hours after the fall; by the end of the school day, he reported that his legs were like “dead weight” and required assistance to walk out of the school. Two days later, the student was diagnosed with an injury to his spinal column and spinal cord, which resulted in permanent quadriplegia.