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NCJ Number: 141285 Find in a Library
Title: Vexatious Victims of Campus Crime: Student Lawsuits as Impetus for Risk Management
Journal: Journal of Security Administration  Volume:15  Issue:2  Dated:(1992)  Pages:5-17
Author(s): M C Smith
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 13
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the theories of liability asserted in student lawsuits against colleges for failure to protect them against crime; the author concludes that these suits are a driving force behind current campus crime- control efforts.
Abstract: The student victim suits can be categorized into four general types of claimed duty. These are a duty to warn about known risks, a duty to provide adequate security protection, a duty to screen out students and employees who are dangerous, and a duty to control student conduct. Both legislative actions and court decisions now impose a strong duty on colleges and universities to warn students and prospective students about known crime risks. The courts have established some duty regarding the provision of adequate security protection, but limited in circumstances and extent. No duties have as yet been found as regards the screening of students and employees and the control of student conduct. Where a duty may be owed by a college or university, it is only to those persons with whom an institution has what the law calls a "special relationship." Such a special relationship exists between a university and its students, as well as to others who come onto the campus at the institution's request as its business "invitees." Many if not most of these lawsuits are won by the institutions based on a finding that the risk was not foreseeable; or if it was foreseeable, that the institution took adequate steps to warn and protect the student; or regardless of liability issues, because the institution was immune from suit because of sovereign or charitable immunity principles. Overall, however, student victim lawsuits against their institutions have prompted colleges to be more attentive to the security provided students and to the provision of information about security and crime risks. 32 references
Main Term(s): Campus Security
Index Term(s): Campus crime; Civil liability; Lawsuits; Student grievances
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