September 20, 2019

DSB succeeded in achieving dismissal of a Complaint against a school district in New York State Supreme Court, County of Suffolk, which sought money damages, including punitive damages, for breach of contract, negligence, and intentional torts, allegedly arising out of a school district’s refusal to enroll a child. The Court found that it did not have jurisdiction to consider plaintiffs’ claims that the district breached a contract regarding the enrollment of nonresident pupil — the Court held that the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue because the plaintiffs were at most, at most, incidental third-party beneficiaries of the agreement. The Court also found that plaintiffs’ tort claims were both untimely and without merit. In this regard, the Court decisively held that tort claims for money damage arising from a school district’s alleged failure to comply with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and related state regulations, are not cognizable as a matter of law. Finally, the Court found that the individual school board members were immune from suit and that punitive damages could not be recovered against a school district.