Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Culver City High School Sued For Alleged Sexual Assault of Student by Football Team Members

The Los Angeles Times today reported that Culver City High School was named in a lawsuit by a 15 year old female student who claims that she was sexually assaulted by several members of the football team.  The suit alleges that she was raped multiple times and that one of the rapes was videotaped and disseminated to other students in the school. (See L.A. Times story here).

The rapes are all alleged to have occurred on school property.  The lawsuit alleges that the rapes were followed by "relentless bullying and trauma" from other students after the video taped assault was seen by other students.  A negligence claim was filed against the School District.

In order to prevail on this type of a claim, the plaintiff will need to show that one or more employees of the School District were "negligent" and that the school should be held "vicariously liable" for the actions or inaction of their employee(s) as provided in California Government Code 815.2, which states, in part, as follows:

"CA. Govt. Code 815.2.  (a) A public entity is liable for injury proximately caused
by an act or omission of an employee of the public entity within the
scope of his employment if the act or omission would, apart from this
section, have given rise to a cause of action against that employee
or his personal representative."

Public officials are afforded certain immunities to suit in certain circumstances.  The alleged victim in this case will need to show that school officials either knew or should have known
about the assaults and failed to act to prevent them.