CHILD ABUSE LAWYER FILES SUIT OVER SCHOOL’S FAILURE TO REPORT TEACHER
A New Jersey child abuse lawyer recently sued a New Jersey public school. The client of the child abuse lawyer allegedly suffered molestation at the hands of a teacher.
The alleged molestation occurred at a New Jersey private school. However, before working at the private school, the teacher worked at the public school.
The public school gave the teacher several warnings about his alleged improper physical contact with female students. It also reported him to the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS).
DYFS investigated the matter. However, it found that the charges against the teacher to be “unfounded.” Accordingly, DYFS closed the case.
Nonetheless, the public school suspended the teacher. The school began its own investigation. During that investigation, the public school learned of more incidents of alleged improper physical contact by the teacher.
However, the public school never reported the new information to DYFS.
The teacher eventually resigned. He later began to work at the private school.
The client of the child abuse lawyer attended the private school. It was there that the teacher allegedly molested her.
Public School Tries to Dismiss Case
The public school filed a court motion. The motion sought to dismiss the victim’s lawsuit. A trial judge agreed with the school. The judge booted the case from court. The trial judge ruled that the law requiring a report to DYFS did not allow a private citizen to sue if the law was violated.
Moreover, the judge stated, even if the law did allow such a lawsuit, the child abuse lawyer failed to prove that the public school’s failure to make an additional report to DYFS caused the victim’s claimed molestation.
Understandably, the child abuse lawyer filed an appeal.
The appeals judges reversed the trial judge’s ruling on this issue.
The appellate court noted that there was a reasonable basis for a jury to conclude that it is more likely than not that the public school’s failure to report the new information was a cause of the victim’s claimed molestation. Had DYFS investigated again, the private school may have fired the teacher before the alleged molestation occurred.
I feel that the appeals court decided correctly in ruling for the victim on this point.
Victim to Get Her Day in Court
That said, there were other issues in the appeals ruling. Some of the victim’s other claims were denied. Nonetheless, she will get her day in court.
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