The California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that public colleges and universities have a duty to protect their students from foreseeable acts of violence.
This decision reverses a 2015 ruling by a lower court that UCLA did not have a duty to protect a student who was attacked by a classmate.
Katherine Rosen was stabbed with a knife by Damon Thompson in 2009 at a UCLA chemistry lab. Thompson had been diagnosed with major depressive disorder and possible schizophrenia. Now, nearly nine years after the stabbing, the State’s High Court decided Rosen's lawsuit could move forward and that the University of California can be held liable for failing to protect the student.
The victim survived her life-threatening injuries. Meanwhile, Thompson was charged and found not guilty by reason by insanity.
Gregory Keating, professor of law at USC Gould School and an expert on accident law
Steve Newman, attorney specializing in defending class actions; he is a partner at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan in Century City