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Court Ruled a University Has a Duty to Protect Others from Foreseeable Violence

Colleges have a duty to act with reasonable care when aware of a foreseeable threat of violence in a curricular setting.

Last Reviewed: March 15, 2021
Key point 7-20.4. A church may be legally responsible for assaults occurring on its premises if similar assaults occurred on or near the premises in the recent past and the church failed to take reasonable precautions.

The California Supreme Court ruled that a university has a legal duty to protect students from foreseeable violence during curricular activities.

A male university student (the "assailant") began experiencing problems with other students in both classroom and residence hall settings. For example:

• He informed a professor that he was "angered" by "offensive" remarks from other students during a final examination and "outraged" because their comments had affected his performance.
• He claimed to have heard another professor calling him "troubled" and "crazy," among other things.
• He complained about mistreatment ...

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  • August 27, 2018
  • Last Reviewed: March 15, 2021