Court: US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
Opinion Date: June 16, 2021
Judge: Bobby E. Shepherd
Areas of Law: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Education Law, Personal Injury
Plaintiffs, parents of LD, filed suit against the school district and others after their daughter LD, a 13-year-old, 7th grade student, was sexually abused by her teacher, Brian Robeson.
The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the school district and the principal. The court concluded that plaintiffs failed to present any evidence that the principal had actual notice of the abuse, and the principal and the school district were entitled to summary judgment on plaintiffs’ Title IX and 42 U.S.C. 1983 claims. The court also concluded that the district court did not err by granting summary judgment in favor of the school district and principal on plaintiffs’ Nebraska Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act where plaintiffs’ claim arose out of Robeson’s sexual assault of LD, an intentional tort to which the Act’s intentional tort exception applies. The court further concluded that the district court did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of the principal on plaintiffs’ aiding and abetting intentional infliction of emotional distress claim where nothing in the record, even when viewed in the light most favorable to plaintiffs, indicates that the principal encouraged or assisted Robeson in inflicting emotional distress on LD.
The court joined its sister circuits in finding that there is no right to a jury trial on the issue of damages following the entry of default judgment. The court affirmed the district court’s order denying the plaintiff’s request for a jury trial on the issue of damages against Robeson. Finally, the court affirmed the $1,249,540.41 amount of damages awarded against Robeson.
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