Hopkinton, NH asked in Education Law and Personal Injury for New Hampshire

Q: Can I sue a school district or school nurse for negligence?

A student at my son's school goes to the nurse to receive his prescribed med (clonidine) everyday. This student will hide the med under his tongue, in his cheek or slip it into his pocket when the nurse isn't looking or paying attention and brings it to my son to take. My son has been taking this med for about a month both my son and the other student stated. I was just notified of this happening due to another student seeing the student hand it to my son. This student and my son are 7 years old and in 2nd grade.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: In this situation, you may have grounds to pursue legal action against the school district or school nurse for negligence. Here are a few key points to consider:

1. Duty of care: Schools and their staff have a legal obligation to ensure the safety and well-being of students under their supervision. This includes properly administering and monitoring prescribed medications.

2. Breach of duty: The school nurse's failure to ensure that the student actually took the prescribed medication and not allowing the medication to be diverted to another student could be considered a breach of their duty of care.

3. Harm caused: Your son has been taking a medication that was not prescribed to him, which could potentially lead to adverse health effects or other damages.

4. Causation: The school nurse's negligence in supervising the administration of the medication directly led to your son receiving and taking the medication.

To proceed with legal action, you should:

1. Document the incident thoroughly, including dates, times, and any communications with the school or school staff.

2. Seek medical attention for your son to assess any potential adverse effects and to establish a record of the incident.

3. Consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in school-related negligence cases. They can help you assess the strength of your case and guide you through the legal process.

It's important to note that laws regarding school negligence can vary by state, so it's essential to work with an attorney familiar with the laws in your jurisdiction. Additionally, many school districts have immunity provisions that can make it more challenging to pursue legal action, but an experienced attorney can help navigate these complexities.

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