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3 Examples of Negligence on a College Campus

Okabe & Haushalter Aug 17, 2022 school negligence attorney

Los Angeles and the surrounding areas are home to numerous universities. Now that a new school year is in session, many students attending these schools will be spending most of their time on campus. Although they will likely venture off campus from time to time to explore our region, because campus is where all of them study and many of them live, it’s likely the environment they’ll find themselves in most often for the remainder of the semester.

When they’re on campus, students shouldn’t have to worry about their own safety. They can protect themselves from harm in many ways, but they should also feel comfortable knowing the school itself is also taking steps to protect them.

Some colleges don’t fulfill this duty. The following are examples of ways universities can negligently allow students to be harmed:

Not optimizing security

Universities have limited budgets to work with. It’s unreasonable to expect the security measures on a college campus to be comparable to those of an airport or other such location.

That said, to a degree, colleges must invest in security. This can include (but is not limited to):

  • Hiring competent security personnel and campus police
  • Installing security cameras in strategic locations throughout campus
  • Ensuring the locks to dormitories and other such buildings are strong and functional

Students can potentially be harmed in various ways when a college doesn’t optimize its security. For example, if there’s a spot on campus that is completely unmonitored by security cameras, someone might determine this is an ideal spot in which to commit an assault or other such crimes.

Not addressing hazards

The legal principle of premises liability holds that property owners and managers are required to take reasonable steps to guard against avoidable accidents occurring on their properties. Examples of hazards which can cause accidents on a college campus include:

  • Wet surfaces
  • Broken flooring
  • Malfunctioning elevators
  • Broken stairwell railings
  • Hazardous materials, such as those which may be used for chemistry experiments

These are just a few examples. A college’s leadership must take steps to minimize the presence of these hazards. When a hazard can’t be eliminated, students and all others on a campus must be made aware of its presence so they know to avoid it. Sadly, some accidents occur on college campuses because ownership doesn’t adequately maintain safe premises.

Not addressing student complaints

A student can directly alert their college’s leadership about any factor they believe poses a risk to others. For example, if they notice a hazardous condition on campus, they can notify the relevant department so the issue is addressed. Or, if they have been assaulted or otherwise victimized by other students or faculty members, they could file complaints accordingly.

University leadership doesn’t always take these complaints or alerts seriously. Students can be harmed as a result.

Hopefully, this will never happen to you. However, if you have been injured or otherwise victimized on a college campus, and you believe the school’s negligence is to blame, you may be eligible to recover financial compensation. Discuss your case with one of our Los Angeles school negligence attorneys at Okabe & Haushalter for more information about your legal options. You can get in touch with our firm by contacting us online or calling us at 310-430-7799.