Parents of college students never want to get the news that something happened on campus. Unfortunately, this is a dark reality for a lot of parents. Their children are supposed to be at school, having fun and earning their education, when someone cuts their lives short. While murder isn’t common on school campuses, it has happened in the past. If you’ve lost a loved one due to a murder on campus, you may be wondering what your legal recourse is. Is the school liable for the murder?
College Liability History
If you know anything about college history, you may know about loco parentis. Loco parentis dissolved in the 1960s, but essentially, it meant that the college stood in the place of a parent. This means that the college is completely liable for student safety but also exacts a certain amount of control over students. While students gained a lot more freedom and a return of their constitutional rights, it also helped alleviate some liability for colleges.
College Liability for Murder
When it comes to serious crimes on campus, schools owe it to the students to provide a reasonable amount of safety. For instance, dorm buildings have to have adequate security. The university has to do take measures to keep its students safe. Likewise, if there is a student harassing or threatening students and the college doesn’t act on it, the school may be liable for a killing after the fact, if that person hurt someone. When it comes to college liability, it all has to do with whether the school was negligent or if the school practiced reasonable safety habits.
Wrongful Death Suits
Odds are if you know a victim who was murdered on campus, you cannot hold the school liable for it. The only times that this is possible is if the school was grossly negligent and somehow this led to the student’s murder. If you feel like the university was negligent or an action of the college somehow led to the death, then you may have a strong case.
When it comes to college students, for the most part, they are free to run themselves. The school is not liable if someone hurts another person on campus. All campuses have some amount of security. As long as the college put forth an effort to keep students safe, then you cannot sue the institution for damages. If you think that a college was negligent and led to the death of your loved one, then you should consult a wrongful death lawyer right away. Call one for a consultation!