Supreme Court Case Defines School District Liability in Molestation Cases

McCune & Harber was recently involved in a California Supreme Court case that defined school district liability in molestation cases. While the Supreme Court confirmed that a district may be found negligent if it knowingly hired and retained an employee who was known to molest students, the Supreme Court clarified that such liability must be based upon the actions of a defined individual. The Court indicated that simply arguing that employees of a school district collectively knew or should have known of an employee’s propensities for molestation is inadequate. Instead, a plaintiff is now required to specify which employee individually had such knowledge before a district may be liable for molestation.