Oct 04 2019

Child Bullying and Potential Resulting Liability Claims

If you’re the parent of a child who has been accused of bullying a fellow child, whether at school or somewhere else, you should take this very seriously for several reasons. Bullying is a major issue across the US, and can have serious consequences for those involved in it – parents should be speaking to their children about how bullying is not okay and will not be tolerated. At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates LLC, we’re here to warn you about an additional potential risk if your child is involved in bullying: Legal liability. Our personal injury attorneys handle a wide variety of cases, and one potential such case involves liability related to bullying. Let’s go over the basics you need to know here if you’re a parent.
child bullying liability claims

Bullying Laws and Lawsuits

Technically speaking, there is no anti-bullying law that’s universal or at the federal level. However, nearly every state in the US has adopted some form of their own anti-bullying laws, and these can be brought up in severe cases of bullying that lead to other incidents.

The most common bullying lawsuits are brought when the practice in question results in a major tragedy. Sadly, the most common such tragedy here is the victim of bullying taking their own life. Parents of these victims can bring a suit alleging that bullying or cyberbullying (just as important to warn your kids about) was a primary cause of pushing the child to take their life. Cases alleging direct physical harm to the victim are also often brought, and these have higher success rates given the common presence of specific physical evidence to corroborate the claims. Finally, hazing or other bullying areas that lead to physical or sexual assault can also be part of these cases.

Lawsuits Against Parents

In certain cases, the lawsuit in question will be brought against the parents of the child doing the bullying. This is particularly common if this bullying leads to the death, injury or harm of a classmate, in which cases parents may be held liable for a failure to intervene soon enough. This type of claim will have particular success if the parent in question was warned or informed of their child’s behavior by a teacher or another parent, and nothing is done to correct the behavior.

Lawsuits Against Districts

In other scenarios, lawsuits may be filed against the school or school district where the bullying took place. The general line of argument here is that the school or district was negligent and failed to intervene to stop the bullying despite opportunities to do so. Because many schools and districts are public government entities, they may have some protections based on sovereign immunity – but this is not an absolute cover, and there are many examples of cases where schools or districts have been found legally liable for the results of a bullying case.

For more on bullying and personal injury cases, or to learn about any of our other attorney services, including dog bite claims, auto accident attorney needs and many others, speak to the staff at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates LLC today.