Ray Knight's Negligence Case Study

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In this case, Ray Knight’s parents (plaintiffs) are seeking liability compensation against the School District (defendants) for the alleged negligence of their son’s middle school. School officials gave Ray Knight a three day suspension for unexcused absences. Although, the School District’s policy is to give parents phone notification and written notification through the mail for student suspension, Knight’s middle school officials sent the written notice home with Knight. In an attempt to hide the information from his parents, Knight crumpled the notification and disposed of it away. On the first day of his suspension, Ray Knight was killed while visiting a friends home. His mother and father were both unaware that Knight was serving…show more content…
Stiles in rebuttal to the Plaintiff’s claim that the defendant created the danger. In Sanford v. Stiles, a school district was sued for alleged negligence under the argument that the state created a danger. In this case, sixteen year old Michael Sanford wrote a note to his ex-girlfriend, Karen Martin, in which he questioned her about another boy and voiced suicidal jargon. Sanford wrote, “I’ve heard 3 diff[erent] stories about you & Ryan. The one I heard almost made me want to go kill myself” (“Find Law,” 2015). Martin did not really believe Sanford was suicidal, but concerned about what he said and in attempt to get him to leave her alone, Martin contacted her school guidance counselor with the note. The counselor gave a copy of the note to Sanford’s guidance counselor, Pamela Stiles. Stiles immediately called Sanford in for a meeting where she proceeded to ascertain Sanford’s state-of-mind and if she could detect any suicidal tendencies. After meeting with Sanford, Stiles was satisfied that he seemed positive, had plans for his future, with no intent to harm himself. Soon after, Sanford made one more appearance in his guidance counselor’s office to question who she had received the note from. Citing confidentiality, Stiles did not give Sanford the name. That same night, Sanford committed suicide. The Plaintiffs in this case argued a negligence claim in that the state created the danger that escalated the risk of Sanford’s decision to commit suicide. The Supreme Court held the District Courts decision that the Plaintiff’s negligence claim failed to prove that Stile’s actions caused Sanford’s suicide; stating, “Specifically, no reasonable jury could find (1) that Stiles acted with the requisite degree of culpability, or (2) that she "create[d] an opportunity that otherwise would not have existed for [harm] to occur” (“Google Scholar,” 2015). Equivalently, Ray Knight’s school officials did not act in a

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