Education lawsuits filed against schools or school districts are long-drawn and highly complex. It is not easy for plaintiffs to validate their side or bring forth solid proof. But in some cases, where you or your child has suffered injury or faced discrimination, then lawsuits are the only way out.
When you approach a reputed education law attorney, the first thing that he or she will do is explore options exclusively against your school. There may be ways of getting around the problems and resolving the issue you have on hand. But, if there is evident that you or your child has been wronged, and you deserve to be compensated, then a lawsuit may give you a desirable outcome.
Unlike other civil and criminal lawsuits, there are many factors that you need to carefully consider before taking the legal route. Very often, even if the defendant is found guilty, there may not be monetary compensation or relief to the plaintiff. The verdict may result in a policy change or reform in educational institutions.
Here are a few things that you need to know about education laws and lawsuits against schools or colleges.
Basis for a Lawsuit
One of the most important factors considered by a Poughkeepsie education lawyer is the basis for a lawsuit. There should be strong and indisputable reasons for filing an education lawsuit.
Without strong causation and resulting harm, education lawsuits may not be allowed to proceed to trial. Here are the top claims that can justify a lawsuit against a private school or other private education institutions.
Breach of Contract
Breach of contract is one of the most common claims for lawsuits filed against private schools.
When you enter a private educational institution, you sign on documents or admission papers that detail what your program is all about. You also would have referred to official websites, school handbooks, and promotional brochures of the institute. You pay the fees and enter the program having reasonable expectations of the quality of education and facilities that you would access. If you feel that the school did not provide you those things or if you did not have access to promised facilities, then you have a right to file a lawsuit against your school.
Courts uphold that the relationship between a student and a private school is contractual in nature. The contract may arise from signed admission documents and agreements, statements made on official sites and promotional materials, or assurances given by officials or people you met at campus. All of these can be cited when you make a claim for breach of contract.
Fraud and Misrepresentation
Fraud and misrepresentation claims are quite often brought against private schools that make tall promises to lure in admissions.
Education is a highly competitive industry. Private schools compete against each other to raise their intake. If you entered a particular school or program on the basis of promises made about quality of tuition, extra-curricular opportunities, and sporting and career training avenues, but then later found none of them to be true, you can claim fraud.
In some cases, school authorities are extremely lax about what is stated on their websites or promotional materials, leading to blatantly false claims being made on behalf of the school. Innocent students who are adversely affected can sue for fraudulent or negligent misrepresentation. The authorities did not fulfill their duty of ascertaining facts that they knew would be relied upon by admission seekers.
Negligence claims can be made for a large number of reasons. If your school did not provide adequate safety and security, did not stick to policies and procedures, or provide promised facilities, then you can sue for negligence of duty.
Negligence claims are all-encompassing and cover a variety of scenarios. It is necessary that you speak to an attorney if you want to sue for negligence and get a more comprehensive understanding about your rights.
Other Causes for Action
There are other valid causes that can be grounds for legal action against schools. The following can be grounds for a lawsuit:
- Sexual misconduct, and
- Any form of unfair or incorrect treatment or attitude against a student.
Be Mindful of the Result
Another important thing that you must evaluate is the possible outcome or result of a lawsuit. If the benefits of a favorable outcome justify the troubles of filing and persisting with a claim, then your attorney will advise you to take legal steps against your school.
An injury claim will help you recover medical and treatment expenses. An unfair expulsion or disciplinary action claim will help you get deserving compensation for mental agony and other losses.
It is necessary that you weigh the pros and cons, and do what is best under the specific circumstances.
Filing an education lawsuit is not the easy way out in most circumstances. But if you feel that you have suffered an injury and your school’s actions have done you or your child harm, consult with an attorney right away. Education lawsuits are complicated, and having an experienced legal mind help you will benefit everyone.