S.M. v. Los Angeles Unified Sch. Dist.Annotate this Case
Plaintiff appealed the trial court's judgment in favor of the District in plaintiff's suit for negligent supervision. Plaintiff alleged that a teacher employed by the District sexually abused plaintiff on and off campus over several months while attending middle school. The court concluded that the trial court erred in modifying jury instructions concerning negligent hiring, supervision or retention of an employee to require plaintiff to prove that defendant had a “dangerous propensity to sexually abuse minors.” The court concluded that plaintiff was only required to prove that defendant had the potential to sexually abuse minors, not a “propensity” to do so. The court also concluded that the trial court erred prejudicially in admitting evidence of her prior sexual history where the trial court did not weigh the prejudicial potential of the evidence against its probative value and did not make a finding of exceptional circumstances which would permit the use of plaintiff’s sexual history or behavior at trial. Further, the court concluded that the trial court erred in instructing the jury on comparative fault and consent, superseding cause, and discretionary immunity. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded.