Visitor Question

Who’s liable for concussion during a school classroom activity?

Submitted By: Anonymous (Howard County, Maryland)

In 10th grade, a boy and girl ran into each other during the school class activities. It was not a sports class. The students need to take the paper in the front of the classroom and write down the info and take the paper back to the front of the room, get another and repeat the process. The activity was a race to see which group can finish first.

The girl had the concussion after she ran into the boy during the class activities. The boy stood behind the girl and girl turned around and ran towards boy during the class activities. In this case, is the boy’s parent liable for the medical costs of girl? The girl’s parent is considering suing the boy’s parent if the medical cost is not reimbursed by boy’s parent. This happened in Maryland. Thank you for any information you can provide.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

The Maryland Civil Code does not hold parents personally liable for the acts of their children when those acts result in injuries to third parties. However, under Section 11-604 of the Maryland Criminal Code, parents may be held personally liable for the acts of their children when those acts constitute a crime.

In the event a minor is found to have committed a crime resulting in a pecuniary (financial) loss to another, the parents may be held liable to pay up to $10,000 in restitution to the victim. Based on the facts, there was no criminal intent or actions by the young man which would warrant the invocation of Section 121-604.

Alternatively, the Howard Public School District may be liable for your daughter’s injuries and the resulting costs. The activity being conducted at the time of your daughter’s injury appears to have been inherently dangerous. The probability one student might run into another student during the activity should have been clear to the teacher. As a result, it can be argued the teacher’s actions were negligent. That negligence can be “imputed” to the Howard School District.

Contact the Howard County School District and request they pay for your daughter’s medical bills and resulting losses. These losses, referred to as “Damages” may include medical bills, related out-of-pocket costs, lost wages for you and your child (if your child was unable to work at a part-time job, and your lost wages if you had to take time off to care for your child), and an additional amount for your daughter’s pain and suffering.

You can reach the Howard County School District at:

10910 Clarksville Pike (Route 108)
Ellicott City, MD 21042
Telephone 410-313-6600
E-mail: publicinfo@hcpss.org

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

Best of luck,

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