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In the case of Albert v. Kelly, a high school football player and the player’s parents defaulted on a complaint by a high school student and the student’s mother, the student and the mother submitted evidence on damages as to: (1) negligence and assault claims; (2) requests for compensatory and punitive damages; and (3) requests for the parents’ joint and several liability as set forth by Connecticut law. There are two types of injury in law: (1) economic damages; and (2) noneconomic damages. Economic damages are compensation for monetary expenses related to an injury, such as medical costs and even lost wages. These damages are easily verified by medical bills, invoices, and employment records. Noneconomic damages compensate individuals for non-monetary losses, which are not readily quantifiable. Examples include pain-and-suffering, loss of future enjoyment, and loss of companionship. These damages are subjective, and determined by the jury or finder of fact.
The student was allegedly injured when the player assaulted him in a bullying incident that was not precipitated in any way by the student. The player and the parents defaulted on the liability portion of the trial and a hearing was held on damages. The student and the mother testified and presented documentary evidence that included medical reports and bills, and photographs of the injury and scarring sustained by the student. The student testified that he was humiliated by the incident and he thereafter quit the football team because of the teasing he received. The court awarded economic damages reflected by the medical bills and non-economic damages against the player. The court also awarded punitive damages as attorney fees related to the wilful assault claim against the player. Finally, the court found that the parents were jointly and severally liable for the player’s wilful or malicious injury to the student because the player was an unemancipated minor. Therefore, the parents were made jointly and severally liable for a portion of the judgment against the player.
The court awarded economic damages for medical bills, non-economic damages, exemplary damages in the amount of attorney fees, and joint and several liability against the parents as to a portion of the damages. The damages totaled $10,456.58.
This case was not handled by our firm. However, if you have any questions regarding this case, or any education matter, please contact Joseph Maya at 203-221-3100 or by email at JMaya@MayaLaw.com.
If you have a child with a disability and have questions about special education law, please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq., at 203-221-3100, or at JMaya@mayalaw.com, to schedule a free consultation.
Source: Albert v. Kelly, 2005 Conn. Super. LEXIS 2403, 2005 WL 2435898 (Conn. Super. Ct. Sept. 12, 2005)
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