My 5 year old daughter fell off the monkey bars at her school during recess and broke her arm, can I hold the school liable? My child started kindergarten on Monday, August 12th, and was playing on the school playground during recess on Wednesday, August 14th. She fell off of the monkey bars and broke her arm, and now is not able to go to school with this cast on since she is unable to use the restroom by herself, unable to write and unable to open food items by herself. Can the school be held liable for this injury.


There is a special relationship between a school district (or its employees) and students, so as to impose an affirmative duty on the district/employees to take reasonable steps to protect students from reasonably foreseeable risks of harm. This special relationship does not necessarily end with the classroom day but may extend to postclassroom, school-sponsored activities, including those where participation is voluntary. A student struck by a car could sue the school district for failure to correct hazardous parking conditions. [Constantinescu v. Conejo Valley Unified School Dist., supra, 16 CA4th at 1472–1473, 20 CR2d at 738]. Also, The special relationship between a student’s parents and teachers may expose the school district to liability to the parent for failure to act to prevent harm to the student. [Phyllis P. v. Super.Ct. (Claremont Unified School Dist.) (1986) 183 CA3d 1193, 228 CR 776—special relationship between teachers and parents required school district to inform mother of student’smolestation and subsequent psychological counseling (mother could recover emotional distress damages)]. It would be best to seek personal assistance from a lawyer in order to guide you in filing a personal injury claim.

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