Can You Bring Wrongful Death Action Against a College for a Student’s Death?

If a loved one of yours was recently killed, you are probably still recovering from this traumatic event. It is naturally to desire the ability to hold someone responsible for the death. In some cases, however, there may simply not be any obvious person who may be responsible. If the victim was a student, there is a chance the college may be liable. This is not a simple question to answer, however. This guide will go over when a college may be held responsible for a student’s death, which would allow a wrongful death lawsuit to be filed.

Holding the School Liable

In order to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the school, the school must have acted negligently. This means they must have failed in some way in relation to the safety of the students. The majority of cases of this type go to trial, rather than being accepted or rejected outright. This means a court will get to decide if the school acted negligently or not. But what is necessary to show that there was some negligence? Your attorney will be the one primarily responsible for proving this.


First, you need to understand the concept of duty. This is basically just a reasonable expectation for someone or an organization to act a certain way. For example, everyone has a duty not to drive drunk. Likewise, all colleges have a duty to provide a safe environment for students. The exact nature of this duty varies based on the situation. A school in a dangerous part of town has a greater duty to protect students than one in a safer area.

For the school to be held liable, it must be shown that they failed to meet their duty. An example of this could be a failure to hire enough security personnel or to light up dark areas at night. Again, this matter is very dynamic, depending heavily on unique circumstances.

There is one final piece of the puzzle for the school to be liable. In addition to needing to establish their duty and to show that they breached their duty, it must also be shown that it was the breach of duty that caused the death. Even if they failed to meet their duty, they were not liable for the death unless this directly caused the unfortunate death. If you still think you might have a case against the school, your first step should be to speak with an attorney, like a Wrongful Death Lawyer, in  Lakewood FL from David & Philpot, P.L., who is experienced in wrongful death cases.

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