Issue: July 2015
Author: Charles F. Gfeller, Esq. and Mike Otworth, CPCU, ARM
Scholastic club sports and activities have grown in popularity and provide a positive opportunity for students to engage in various recreational activities. As participation in these actives continues to increase across schools, the possibility of injury also increases. When these two variables combine, they result in rising claims against educational institutions. This article will provide risk managers with suggested policies and procedures to help ensure their institutions are well protected and best situated to resolve possible claims quickly and efficiently. In order to best accomplish this, it is first necessary to understand the various legal duties owed by elementary and secondary schools, as well as colleges and universities, with respect to their students.
Issue: Jan 2015
Author: Julie E. Lewis, Esq.
Litigation filed against educational institutions and officials over the issue of student-onstudent/peer bullying is on the rise, despite the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court set a high standard for proving liability against school districts in lawsuits for monetary damages as a result of peer sexual harassment under Title IX in 19991 . Moreover, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has ramped up its investigation and enforcement efforts by focusing a great deal of attention on the issue and by applying an expansive reading of the applicable laws to its investigations. In addition to other laws, OCR enforces Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, both of which prohibit disability discrimination. This article will provide insights to Risk Managers regarding how to manage the risk of any type of peer harrassment / bullying.
Issue: Nov / Dec 2013
Author: Michael Otworth CPCU and Benjamic C. Eggert, Esq.
By now, public entities might reasonably expect that their obligations under the Americans With Disabilities Act—which is better known as the ADA—would be well settled given that the statute was enacted more than 20 years ago. But recent amendments to the ADA and strategic enforcement priorities announced by federal officials have left public entity employers with shifting and emergent obligations to their actual and prospective employees. This article will summarize the history of the ADA as well as recent amendments to the statute, then survey employers’ developing responsibilities under the amended ADA together with practical strategies for public entities to address their shifting obligations.