Below are the Trial Brief s prepared for us concerning our lawsuit
against the Pasco School District, in behalf of our son, (a junior high
student), Jared High. Jared died by suicide on Sept. 29, 1998, as
a consequence of a major depressive episode brought on by his violent beating
and bullying at the hands of a known school bully in a school gymnasium.
This Lawsuit was settled on January 25th, 2003, after the Trial Brief was
submitted (and 11 days before a School Levy vote).
If your child is being bullied, harassed, or emotionally damaged because
of a bully(s), please take the time to read this Trial Brief so you can
be more prepared to fight for the rights of your child within your Public
School System. You have permission to use these trial briefs as
you consult with your attorney about the school-abuse and bullying your
child is enduring.
By virtue of the special custodial relationship a school has over
its students, a school district owes a duty to protect the pupils
in its custody from dangers reasonably to be anticipated.
Where the aggressive nature of a child is known to school authorities,
proper supervision requires the taking of reasonable specific, appropriate
procedures for the protection of other children from the potential for
harm caused by such child's behavior.
Jury Instructions: Was the District negligent
in its investigation? "The violation, if any, of a statute
or administrative rule is not necessarily negligence, but may be considered
by you as evidence in determining negligence."
(4, 5 & 7)
Has the District wrongfully destroyed evidence? - (Bully's) intentional
tort of assault - A proximate cause of Jared High’s development of a major
depressive psychological condition.
Common law liability preserved provides: The parent or parents
of any minor child under the age of eighteen years who is living with the
parent or parents and who shall willfully or maliciously destroy or deface
property, real or personal or mixed, or who shall willfully and maliciously
inflict personal injury on another person, shall be liable to the owner
of such property or to the person injured in a civil action at law for
damages in an amount not to exceed five thousand dollars.
In order for the conduct of parents in supervising their child to
be actionable in tort, such conduct must rise to the level of willful and
wanton misconduct; if it does not, then the doctrine of parental immunity
The legislature added the language related to “loss of love and
companionship” and “injury to or destruction of the parent-child relationship”
in 1967. The effect of that amendment was decided by the Supreme
Court in Wilson v. Lund, ...where the issue was whether the deceased child’s
mother could recover for her grief and mental anguish.
The defendants may argue, however, that intentional conduct ...should
be considered by the jury for purposes of fault allocation under
R.C.W. 4.22.070. It is clear that such allocation or comparison
would be improper.
It is not necessary that the sequence of events or the particular
resultant occurrence be forseeable. It is only necessary that the resultant
harm fall within the general field of danger which the defendant should
reasonably have anticipated.