Workers' Compensation

Louisiana: Teacher’s Intentional Tort Action Against School Board Fails

A teacher, who was six-weeks pregnant at the time of a classroom incident that resulted in her injury, may not maintain a tort action against the school board; her allegations failed to raise an issue of intentional tort and her civil action was, therefore, barred by the exclusive remedy provisions of the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act. As the teacher tried to block the path of an unruly student, the student repeatedly hit the teacher in the stomach. The student, who was subsequently arrested and charged with battery, pled no contest in the criminal proceeding. The teacher subsequently delivered a daughter that was determined to have a kidney injury, although the condition was classified as congenital in nature. Citing Bazley v. Tortorich, 397 So.2d 475 (La.1981), the appellate court indicated the teacher was required to prove either (1) that the employer consciously desired the physical results of the particular conduct, or (2) that the employer had knowledge that the physical results were “substantially certain” to follow such conduct. The court acknowledged that the assaulting student had an extensive history of disciplinary issues, but the school board’s knowledge of his issues and re-admittance into the high school did not amount to an intentional act. The appellate court added that there was no evidence, for example, that the student had attacked a teacher prior to the incident at hand.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Field v. Lafayette Parish Sch. Bd., 16–495 (La.App. 3 Cir. 11/09/16), 2016 La. App. LEXIS 2061 (Nov. 9, 2016)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 103.04.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law