Court of Appeals grants summary disposition for school and principal
Fannie Booker sued the Detroit Public Schools and her son's principal, alleging that a teacher's aide, Juvon Horace had assaulted her disabled son, Ernest. Ernest suffered from cerebral palsy and partial paralysis, and Fannie alleged that the teacher aide had a known history of abusing similar handicapped children. On appeal, the Court noted that the School System was immune from Booker's claims because educating all children, including handicapped children, is a governmental function. It also held that the principal was immune from liability because however negligent she may have been, she could not be "the" cause of Horace's abuse: according to the judges only "the" abuser could be "the one most immediate, efficient, and direct cause" of Ernest's injuries.
Following these rulings, the case was returned to the lower court with the school system and principal dismissed. It appears--reading between the lines--that no one who is collectible will owe Ernest compensation because the school system will now argue that Horace's actions were "ultra vires" [outside his duties as an aide] and therefore its insurance doesn't cover him.