La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:1201(C) provides two different sick leave pay provisions for public school teachers who sustain injuries on the job, depending on the cause of the injury. Section 17:1201(C)(1)(a), is commonly referred to as the "assault pay" provision.
Appellant teacher claimed he was the victim of an "assault or battery by any student or person" and, therefore, was entitled to the highest level of sick leave benefits under the "assault pay" provision of La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:1201(C)(1)(a). The trial court denied appellant’s claim and granted appellee school board's motion for summary judgment. It held that appellant teacher's injuries, which were sustained when he was struck by a punch by one of two students while he attempted to break up their fight, fell under the "physical contact" provision, La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:1201(C)(1)(b)(i). On appeal, the appellate court reversed the trial court’s judgment.
Did the trial court err in denying appellant teacher entitlement to sick leave pay provisions for public school teachers who sustained injuries on the job under the "assault pay" provision of La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:1201(C)(1)(a)?
Appellant teacher was entitled to benefits under the "assault pay" provision. It was undisputed that the student who hit appellant committed a battery as he intended the physical act of throwing the punch, and he intended to injure another person by throwing the punch. Under the doctrine of transferred intent, the student who hit the teacher attempting to hit the other student was deemed to have had the requisite intent to commit a battery on the teacher. Therefore, because appellant's injuries resulted from a battery by a student, appellee board was obligated to provide him with leave without reduction in pay for the duration of his disability and the trial court erred in granting summary judgment to the board.