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GMSR obtains writ directing summary judgment in favor of UCLA in student’s negligence lawsuit

The Regents of the University of California v. Superior Court (2015) 240 Cal.App.4th 1296 (California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Seven) [published]. Plaintiff was an undergraduate student at UCLA. Unprovoked, another student in her chemistry lab class pulled a kitchen knife and stabbed her repeatedly, causing severe injuries. The assailant, who was under mental health treatment at UCLA for a schizophrenia disorder, had never evinced an intent to harm plaintiff. Nevertheless, plaintiff sued UCLA and several of its employees, arguing that the university negligently failed to protect her from the assailant’s conduct. The trial court denied summary judgment and GMSR sought writ relief. In a published split decision, the Court of Appeal held that a public university has no general duty to protect its students from the criminal acts of other students. The dissenting justice would recognize such a duty in the classroom setting.

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