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View Diary: What the hell is THIS?! [Updated] (226 comments)

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  •  Cthulhu emerges to offer a legal opinion (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shanikka, qofdisks, Catte Nappe, 1180

    At trial, Plaintiff will get up, point out that two different teachers molested her for years, and argue that she was helpless to stop the continued abuse.  

    The defense lawyer knows he will lose on liability, so the only thing he can do is argue that Plaintiff failed to limit her damages when she had an opportunity to do so by going to the police.   The defense has no choice but to give notice of his intent to argue that damages should be so limited.  That is precisely what the school board did in its pleadings.

    This is a risky strategy by the defense -- it risks increasing the punitive damages award more than the decrease in the actual damages.   However, punitive damage awards are subject to many limits; actual damages are not.   The school district therefore is willing to risk the ire of the jury on this point in the hope of lowering its liability on appeal.

    There really is no other direction that the school board could go, other than to capitulate, offer no defense whatsoever, and allow the jury to set whatever damages it wants.   That isn't going to happen, and the law requires that notice be given of the defenses.  

    In short, with all respect to the community, it is hard for me to become enraged with the school district's lawyers for what is in their pleadings.   They have little choice but to say that damages must be limited in some fashion, and they've offered the only way possible to make that argument.  

    Short of capitulation, what else could they do?

    •  The victim should sue her own parents if this (0+ / 0-)

      went on for any length of time.  The parents should know their own child and gone to the police even more so than the school.
      Negligence for the child all around.  These sort of children with inattentive parent notoriously do have a target painted on their back.
      It is well known that sexual predators target the vulnerable and the best way to avoid your child being a victim is to teach your child confidence and security.
      I knew a child that was victimized.  Her parents were in a sort of coma.  Once it became clear that their child was being used, the parents became aware that their particular child was a target.  They take extra precautions and the father is extra careful to communicate with the child everyday.  There was no access to therapy for this family.  It has been a couple of years and the child is bouncing back nicely.

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