Lawsuit for failure to watch my child?

by Briane
(Clay City, Illinois)

My eight year old child rode the bus to school, then got off the bus and started to walk home. I put my child on the bus at 7:30am and at 8:20am another parent pulled into my driveway with my child. He was found twenty minutes after getting off the bus, after he had already walked down main street and crossed a very busy highway.

The school had no clue he was ever gone until they got a call saying he was being picked up along side of the road by another parent. No one at the school is being held accountable for what happened, all we got was "sorry we dropped the ball" response.

Do I have grounds to sue the school for child negligence? What if something bad happened to my son? Can I file a complaint or do anything to ensure this doesn't happen ever again? This is a very egregious oversight on their part. Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Lawsuit for failure to watch my child?":

Briane (Clay City, Illinois):

Fortunately, your son was unharmed. While the school may have been entirely negligent, without injuries you really don't have a valid personal injury claim against the school.

A school and its administrators have a legal "duty of care" to do everything possible to ensure their students' safety. In this case, not only did the school fail to meet its legal duty of care, it wholly breached its duty. Moreover, they actually admitted it by saying "sorry we dropped the ball."

If the school's omission had resulted in injuries to your son, you would have likely had a strong negligence claim against the School Administration.

You have the opportunity to report this omission to the Illinois Board of Education. Once you file a complaint it's likely the Board will initiate an investigation. Hopefully, doing so will result in stricter standards for school administrators to assure students will not be abandoned.

To file a complaint, contact the Illinois State Board of Education.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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