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Running Head: Artifact #3 1

Tort and Liability Assignment

Kristine Morales

College of Southern Nevada


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Ray Knight is a middle school student who got suspended for three days by his

school because of his multiple unexcused absences. School district procedures typically requires

schools to notify and send a written mail to the student’s parents. However, Ray’s school only

sent a notice by the student, who threw it away. His parents were unaware of his suspension.

During his first day of suspension, Ray got into an accident where he was shot while visiting a

friend’s house.

There are many laws and policies that will factor in the decision of this case. One of

them is Tort. “Tort is a civil wrong, a violation of a duty, that cases harm. Tort law provides

individuals with a way to sue for compensation for harm someone has cause them,” (Underwood,

Webb 99). Another factor are negligence and strict liability, unintentional torts, whereby

someone is held responsible for all the results of their actions.

A case in favor of Ray Knight’s parents is the Goss vs. Lopez (1975) case. The case

is about Lopez and eight other students that was suspended for 10 days for misconduct without a

hearing or having them go through a due process. Th district court denied because the students

were suspended without hearing prior to suspension and that implementing regulations were

unconstitutional. Ray’s parents can use this case because they were never informed or was sent

an e-mail explaining the suspension of their child. The school only gave a notice to Ray, but that

was not the right action. If a student is being student, the parents should be the first one to be

informed of the situation, or the administrator should set up a meeting with the parents

explaining why their child is being suspended.

Another case is the Warrington vs. Tempe Elementary School (1999) case. The case

is about Andrew who was struck by a car after getting off the school bus with his friend Steven.

They were heading to Steven’s house when Michael, a boy who threatened to beat him up,
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started chasing Andrew. Andrew suffered severe and permanent brain and spinal injuries. The

court saw the location of the bus stop, intersection of 41st Street and Southern Avenue, was a

foreseeable danger to the students since they were still young. This relates to Ray’s case because

the school did not take the right precaution or steps to inform Ray’s parent. This situation could

be viewed or can become as one of the foreseeable dangers for the child/ student.

On the other hand, a case that’s in favor of the school is the case Pistolese vs.

William Floyd (2009) case. In this case, a student was assaulted by other students on the last day

of the school year as the student walked home with friends rather than riding the school bus. The

courts decided that the accident happened at a time when the injured plaintiff was no longer in

the school’s custody because it was outside of the orbit of its authority. For this case, the school

can argue that because Ray made it home after the suspension, and the incident happened off the

school zone or orbit, it was Ray’s parents should be responsible for him or anything that

happened to him.

Lastly, another example that could be use and could be in favor of the school is

Contributory Negligence vs. Comparative Negligence. Contributory barred a plaintiff in a

personal injury action from recovering damages if he was in any way responsible for an accident

while, comparative is when both a plaintiff and a defendant are guilty of negligence. Since the

main reason for the parents not finding out about Ray’s suspension was his fault, the school had

no control over for what happened to Ray.

Further understanding this case between Ray and his parents vs. the school, the court

will most likely will side with the school. The school did send a notice to Ray, but it was Ray

who threw this notice away and neglected it. True, the school should also send a notice to the

parents, but for the school defense, the student should also be responsible to tell his parents about
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the whole situation. Lastly, the school has no control what happens outside the school perimeter

meaning, they had no control over the incident that happened to Ray, but this could have been

avoided if Ray was honest with his parents and accepted his punishment.
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Reference

Contributor Negligence v. Comparative Negligence

Comparative Negligence vs. Contributory Negligence. (2015, March 23). Retrieved from

https://www.phillipslawoffices.com/firmnews/personal-injury/comparative-negligence-

vs-contributory-negligence/

Goss v. Lopez (1975)

Goss v. Lopez. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/419/565

Pistolese v. William Floyd (2009)

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York. (n.d.). PISTOLESE v. WILLIAM

FLOY: 69 A.D.3d 825 (2010): 20100122425. Retrieved from

https://www.leagle.com/decision/innyco20100122425

Warrington v. Tempe Elementary School

FindLaw's Court of Appeals of Arizona case and opinions. (n.d.). Retrieved from

https://caselaw.findlaw.com/az-court-of-appeals/1415411.html