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Christian J. Steinmetz III, Gannam, Gnann & Steinmetz, LLC, Savannah, GA, obtained a victory in U.S. District Court, S.D. Ga., Savannah Division. A minor child (by and through her mother) sued a Georgia public school system, its Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent, her middle school principal, and her teacher for multiple counts alleging violations of her constitutional rights, battery, and infliction of emotional distress. The claims stemmed from an alleged inappropriate relationship with the Defendant teacher and the subsequent handling of the incident by the School System, the school, and its administrators.

Christian represented all Defendants except the teacher. In granting summary judgment to Christian’s clients on Plaintiff’s failure to protect claim under 42 USC § 1983, the Court found that there was no evidence to support that the School System, School, and Administrators knew of the teacher’s conduct or were deliberately indifferent to evidence which should have put them on notice of it. Additionally, the Court granted summary judgment on Plaintiff’s 42 USC § 1983 claim for breach of duty (alleged failure to report), because the Administrators notified the parents of the alleged improper relationship within four hours of learning and then to the police within 24 hours. The Court held that the notifications satisfied the School System’s obligation under Georgia’s Mandatory Reporting Statute. The Court observed that even if there had been a violation of the Reporting Statute, it was insufficient to sustain a 42 USC § 1983 claim, because Plaintiff could not identify a School System custom or policy that deprived Plaintiff of constitutional rights. 

Congratulations, Christian!

Do you have a triumph to share? Send a brief summary and a recent photograph to David Fuqua at dfuqua@fc-lawyers.com


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