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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 118764
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I need my questions answered by a lawyer (most likely a civil lawyer or a special education lawyer) who knows the laws of Arizona or IDEA (federal statutes for special education) and can give me specific feedback on all the questions I present here to determine if I can sue, is it viable to sue, what kind of lawyer do I need, how much it will cost me, who do I sue and what do I sue for? I believe there is negligence on the part of the principal, the special education facilitator, and the special education advisor for the student who assaulted me, because I wasn’t given a copy of the student’s IEP by the student's special education advisor and had no idea the student was a special education student and had an emotional disability. The federal law is very specific about teachers having the IEP’s of the special education students in their classroom. I have been told that since I went on worker’s compensation because of the assault that I am precluded from suing my employer, which is the school district. But, I also found out that I could sue under third party negligence even if I received worker’s compensation. It’s under the common law tort theory.

So, based upon what you read here, who would be the person or persons I would sue? Is it the Principal, who is ultimately responsible to ensure that all IEPs are being implemented or are they protected under qualified immunity? Is it the special education advisor for the student who assaulted me? Is it the Special Education Facilitator for the Special Education Department, who is a Teacher On Assignment (TOA) and is a member of the same Certified Teacher’s Association and Arizona Education Association that I am? Or, is it more than one of them? What kind of lawyer do I need to sue for me? And, if I do sue, I understand under worker’s compensation that any money I receive would have to be paid back to them and I would be able to keep what is left over? A month has passed by since we were supposed to meet the first week of August. During the meeting, we are to receive the Dean of Student's written notes on the matter and we are to give them a copy of the police report that shows the statements from the police officer who took the report said he didn't find out about the assault until one to two weeks after it happened. But, the Dean of Students wrote on the student's referral that she had talked the the SRO (police officer), which would have been the day of the assault up to two days after the assault. The district also refuses to change the student's referral from disruptive classroom behavior: minor aggressive act instead of assault. The police report states it was a simple assault.

My association liaison feels the school district is afraid of getting sued, so this is the reason they are not wanting to change the referral to an assault and are dragging this on until the one-year statutory date of September 13, 2011 occurs. But, yet she didn’t make any phone calls to the Principal to setup the August meeting, because she said she was busy. Could it also be my association is scared too of being sued, because the Special Education Facilitator is a member of the Certified Teacher’s Association, which the Arizona Education Association would have to defend if she is sued?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
Under the workers compensation law, the employee cannot sue the employer in tort unless you can prove it was not just negligence but an intentional tort directed at you. Thus, you will not be able to sue the employer. If you can prove that any party intentionally intended to harm you then that party can be sued as a third party (keep in mind that if you sue a third party that the workers compensation insurer has a right to subrogation, which means they can recover all of the money they paid out on the workers compensation claim from what you receive as part of your third party lawsuit).

Really, the party that would be liable to you would be the student through the student's parents. The school administrators you mention would not be liable unless you prove they did this intentionally to injure you.

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Relist: Other.
The answers provided by the lawyer I already know. He didn't tell me anything new that was specific to the questions I asked.