A tiny tick in a mountainous region of China set off a chain of events leading to a $40 million verdict against a Connecticut school – a verdict recently affirmed by the Connecticut Supreme Court.
Although the court’s ruling doesn’t have a direct impact on case law in Florida, state high courts often look to their sister courts in considering rulings that may set precedent. The case was certified to the state supreme court from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which sought answers as to whether public policy supports imposing a duty on a school to warn about or protect against the risk of a serious insect-borne disease in organizing an abroad trip. The court was also asked whether damages in the amount of $41.5 million warranted a remittitur (reduction). The court answered yes to the first and no to the second.
The court’s ruling underscored that schools do have an affirmative duty to protect children in their care. The ruling doesn’t definitively settle the case, the outcome of which is expected to play a role in how – or whether – schools provide such travel opportunities in the future. Continue reading →