University Owes Duty to Protect Students from Foreseeable Violence During Curricular Activities
March 23, 2018
Regents of the University of California v. Superior Court (Rosen)
__ Cal.5th __ [2018 WL 2018 WL 1415703]
Plaintiff, a student at UCLA, was stabbed in class by another student who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. UCLA allegedly knew that the mentally ill student thought about hurting other students and suffered from delusions. A divided Court of Appeal held that UCLA owed no duty to protect plaintiff based on her status as a student or otherwise.
The California Supreme Court reversed. The Court concluded that UCLA had a duty to protect plaintiff from foreseeable harm during curriculum-related activities because students are comparatively vulnerable and dependent on their colleges for a safe environment, and colleges therefore have a special relationship with their enrolled students in the context of school-sponsored activities.