School Board Held Liable For Historical Sexual Abuse of a Student

Student at School


List of Cases Across Canada
Case NameAward for Pain & SufferingYear DecidedInstitutionSource
Langstaff v. Marson$341,2932013SchoolLink to Case
K.M. v. Marson$250,0002018SchoolLink to Case
DS v. Quesnelle$400,0002019OtherLink to Case
John Doe v. O'Dell$175,0002003ChurchLink to Case
Swales v. Glendinning$175,0002004ChurchLink to Case
JB v. RB$275,0002021OtherLink to Case
Rosenthal v. Rosenthal$180,0002014OtherLink to Case
C.O. v. Williamson$300,0002020SchoolLink to Case
M.B. v. 2014052 Ontario Ltd.$300,0002012EmployerLink to Case
Milne v. Betts$225,0002012OtherLink to Case
Drijber v. Betts$250,0002012OtherLink to Case
DMN v Staples$225,0002013OtherLink to Case
Shaw v. Staples$225,0002013OtherLink to Case
K.T. v. Vranich$175,0002011EmployerLink to Case
Evans v. Sproule$150,0002008PoliceLink to Case
D.M. v. W.W$95,0002013OtherLink to Case
DP v. Allen$125,0002004ChurchLink to Case
Zando v. Ali$175,0002017MedicalLink to Case
K.K. v. K.W.G.,$100,0002008OtherLink to Case
Hockley v. Riley$100,0002005OtherLink to Case
S. (A.) (Litigation Guardian of) v. S. (S.)$105,0002007OtherLink to Case
C.S. v. Nigro$100,0002010OtherLink to Case
Badreddine v. Shapovalov$50,0002019EmployerLink to Case
B. (R.) v. S. (E.) (Litigation guardian of)$70,0002016OtherLink to Case
DG v RM$35,0002012OtherLink to Case
RA1 v JM$35,0002013OtherLink to Case
Weingerl v. Seo$25,0002005MedicalLink to Case
R. (J.) v. White$20,0002001MedicalLink to Case
D.B. et al v Johnson$5,5002012OtherLink to Case


In 2013 a man won over $3 million in his lawsuit against the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board after being sexually assaulted by his science teacher in 1976 and 1977.

At the time of the assaults, he was 12 years old. The science teacher had a mini zoo he used to lure in children. The boy would help the teacher clean animal cages and keep the animals fed. The teacher also had a key to the school to take care of the animals on the weekends.

The teacher was allowed to be alone with the boy during recess, after school, and on weekends. It was during these times that the teacher would sexually assault the boy. As a result of the sexual assaults, the man suffers from PTSD. He reported the assaults to the police in 2006. The teacher was then charged and convicted of sexual assault. 

Factual Summary

In the late 1960s, the principal was concerned about the teacher’s behaviour around children and confronted the teacher. He told the teacher to be careful, but no further action was taken. Then in 1976, the principal was approached by a parent and asked if the teacher’s behaviour with the students was appropriate. The principal addressed the teacher about the concerns and kept a close eye on him however, no further action was taken.

Furthermore, students would call the teacher weird and a pervert. Principals and other teachers were aware of what the students were saying, but no action was taken by the principal or school board. The boy was one of several victims of the science teacher. The school was aware of the teacher’s inappropriate actions but failed to take action to stop the abuse. Their negligence caused a severe amount of damage. Read the case of another victim of the science teacher here.

School Board Liability

The judge applied the legal doctrine of vicarious liability and held the school board responsible for the injuries suffered by the Plaintiff at the hands of the teacher. Although the school board denied responsibility for the abuser/teacher, the judge found that the school board had a legal duty to ensure students were safe at school, and the abuser carried out the abuse while on school property using the school’s resources.  


Vicarious Liability

Where one party is held legally responsible for the unlawful conduct of another

Compensation and Damages

The judge ordered the teacher and the school board to pay a total of $3,219,923 to the man for the damages he suffered from the sexual assaults.

He was awarded $341,293 in general damages and $297,000 for future care costs. An additional $450,000 was awarded for past loss of income and $925,000 for future loss of income. The judge also awarded $1,200,000 in punitive damages as punishment to the school for their negligence in allowing the abuse to happen and to punish the teacher for his atrocious actions. 

For more information about pursuing a lawsuit for sexual assault and harassment that occurred at school, click here.



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