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|1||Show/Hide More||Kansas State Bank and Trust Co. v. Specialized Transport. Services Inc.|
The defendant school district contracted with the defendant transportation company to transport special needs students to and from school. The plaintiff alleged that a bus driver for the transportation company molested her daughter during the rides to and from the school. The evidence showed that the bus driver acted suspiciously during his employment, but no history of abuse. The plaintiff sued the school district for negligently retaining a bus driver who they should have known had a propensity to abuse children.
Should courts regard an employer's retention of a problem-prone employee as sufficiently ‘causing' their employee's intentional tort?
|2||Show/Hide More||Scott v. County of Los Angeles|
The plaintiff was a four-year-old child whose parents were both incarcerated. The plaintiff was put under the care of her grandmother, under the supervision of county workers. County workers failed to perform their mandatory supervisory duties and did not thoroughly investigate several reports on the grandmother's abuse of the plaintiff. The grandmother's abuse peaked in one episode, where she forcefully immersed the plaintiff's legs in scalding hot water for 30 seconds. The plaintiff suffered burn damage from the skin to the bone, nearly fatal infections of the legs, and permanent disfigurement and disability. The jury returned a verdict assigning 1% of the liability for the injuries to plaintiff's grandmother, and 99% of the liability to the county and its employee.
How should courts apportion liability between entities that enable the plaintiff's harm through negligence (in this case, the county) and individuals that intentionally cause the harm (in this case, the grandmother)?
January 06, 2016
Harvard Law School, Berkman Center
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