Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Texas law bars parents from suing schools — even when their children fall into a den of rattlesnakes

Texas law bars parents from suing schools — even when their children fall into a den of rattlesnakes:

Texas law bars parents from suing schools — even when their children fall into a den of rattlesnakes



According to personal injury lawyer John Kemmrer Ivey, “the State of Texas and the school district doesn’t care” about children harmed due to negligence at school.
The Houston Press described the horrifying incident of a boy playing in a sandbox on the school playground when the ground caved in and he dropped into a den of rattlesnakes. He was bitten multiple times and nearly died, but because the incident didn’t occur in a school vehicle, nothing can be done.
The reason is that Texas has the strongest laws in the country protecting schools against litigation. The only way a school can be sued is if an injury occurs in a motor vehicle.
Houston attorney Al Durrell’s five-year-old son was carried upside down from the cafeteria to the principal’s office and his jaw was broken in the process. The school called Durrell saying there was blood on his son and his clothing and they didn’t know whose it was. When he picked up his son, the boy wasn’t talking and pointed to his mouth. His father rushed the child to the dentist where two teeth had to be pulled and they discovered the broken jaw.
Court documents show program coordinator “Krystal Perkins stated that her elbow had come into contact with C.B.D.’s face in the hallway. Beth Bonnette [school principal] also stated that she had contact with C.B.D.” The third school employee involved was listed as a school administrator. C.B.D. are the initials used to protect Durrell’s son’s identity.
But despite his best efforts, the boy’s father still doesn’t know what happened, despite cameras recording the incident. The reason is that the school falls under the doctrine of sovereign immunity.
The State of Texas “has long recognized that sovereign immunity, unless waived, protects the State of Texas, its agencies, and its officials from lawsuits for damages, absent legislative consent to sue the State,” according to “A Synopsis of Texas and Federal Sovereign Immunity Principles.” There’s also a $100,000 cap on any damages given to a single person or a single incident.
Durrell was first told he could have a copy of the footage of the incident but was then Texas law bars parents from suing schools — even when their children fall into a den of rattlesnakes:

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