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Negligent Supervision

Case 1: Nova Southeastern University, Inc. v. Gross

a. What is the institutions legal duty with respect to a student for whom it arranges an off campus internship or practicum?

b. If the institution required the student to arrange her own internship or practicum, what would the institutions legal duty be?

c. Is there any other way, in addition to warning students about any known dangers, that the institution could protect itself from liability (for example, having the student sign a waiver)?

Case 2: Bradshaw v. Rawlins

a. Could the college have better protected itself from potential liability in situations?
Involving student activities and the consumption of alcohol? Would you suggest any changes in the colleges written policies on alcohol? Any changes in enforcement of college alcohol policies? Any changes in the colleges practices regarding supervision of student social functions?

b. Might the outcome of the case have differed if the picnic had occurred on a college field? In a residence hall? In a fraternity house? Regarding fraternities, consider the case of Whitlock v. University of Denver, discussed in which the Colorado Supreme Court refused to find that the university owed a duty to a Student injured while using a trampoline owned by a fraternity. Compare Whitlock with Furek v. University of Delaware. Can you distinguish the cases sufficiently to justify the opposing outcomes? Do these cases stand for the proposition that an institution can avoid liability by severing all ties, including the application of student codes of conduct, with fraternities? Is such a policy legally advisable? Educationally advisable? Should it matter whether the fraternity house is on-campus on university land or off-campus on land owned by others?

Solution Preview

Here is some information on the cases to help you get started. I hope you find this information useful. Good luck!!!!

Case 1: Nova Southeastern University, Inc. v. Gross, 758 So.2d 86 (Fla.,2000)

The Supreme Court held that university could be found liable in tort where it assigned student to internship site which it knew to be unreasonably dangerous, but gave no warning, or inadequate warning, to student and student was subsequently injured while participating in internship.

Since university had control over graduate student's conduct by requiring her to do mandatory internship and by assigning her to specific location, it assumed the correlative duty of acting reasonably in making that assignment, and where university had knowledge that internship location was unreasonably dangerous, it was up to jury to determine whether university acted reasonably in assigning student to do internship at that location for purposes of negligence action brought against university by graduate student who was robbed and sexually assaulted at off-campus internship.

Issues of graduate student's knowledge should be considered when determining the issues of breach of duty and proximate cause of student's injury and in attributing proportional fault, but this did not eliminate university's duty to use reasonable care in assigning student to off-campus, mandatory internship for purposes of negligence action brought against university by student, who was robbed and sexually assaulted at off-campus internship site.

If the university did not assign students to specific locations, their liability would be limited since there would be no duty to act reasonably in making that assignment. However, the university would still have a duty to warn students of possibly dangerous areas. To reduce liability, students could sign a waiver; however, you cannot waive negligence. So, the university could not act negligently is ...

Solution Summary

The Supreme Court held that university could be found liable in tort where it assigned student to internship site which it knew to be unreasonably dangerous, but gave no warning, or inadequate warning, to student and student was subsequently injured while participating in internship.

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