Parents of a student in Florida filed suit against the superintendent, the principal and a teacher/coach. This came about because the coach, in a basketball scrimmage, committed a “hard foul” against the student. The kid was knocked to the floor and suffered a concussion. Hard foul, indeed!
Why lawyers file suits like this in federal court is beyond me. Maybe I’m missing something, but to me this would be a simple case of assault that could be filed in state court where it belongs. According to news accounts of the plaintiff’s pleadings, there is a bit more to the story. The news accounts say that the plaintiffs alleged that the coach was originally called for a foul and became enraged. He then, allegedly, told the student “I will show you what a REAL FOUL is!” Whereupon forearm to the head, kid goes down. Concussion.
If those allegations are true, the coach has committed an intentional assault. This is not part of the “course and scope” of his employment. If this happened in Texas, a suit could be filed—and could be successful—in state court. Maybe Florida law is different, but I doubt it.
Instead of a simple suit for assault and battery, the lawyers filed in federal court, added the superintendent and principal as defendants, and tried to make this into a constitutional violation for the failure to provide due process prior to corporal punishment. Case dismissed.
The case is Sanchez v. Adkins, decided by the federal court for the Middle District of Florida on February 6, 2018. We found it at 2018 WL 733628.
DAWG BONE: DUE PROCESS IS NOT REQUIRED PRIOR TO A FOUL, HARD OR OTHERWISE.