Connecticut SC backs $41.7M verdict against school for failing to warn of tick bites

The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled “that schools have a duty to warn parents and students of potential hazards associated with field trips – in particular, dangerous insect bites – and let stand a $41.7 million verdict to a student who was disabled after developing encephalitis from a tick bite while on a school trip to China.” The Second Circuit had certified the question to the Connecticut court as part of the case of Munn v. Hotchkiss School. [Edmund H. Mahony/Hartford Courant, more] “According to the CDC, Munn was the first reported case of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) in a U.S. traveler to China.” [Jennifer Morgan DelMonico, Murtha Cullina Appellate Insights]


  • Guiltmail strikes again. Nothing is an outlier or a tragedy anymore.

  • I would throw out the $30 million punitive damages –Who is culpably negligent if a schoolchild gets a bad outcome from Lyme disease in Connecticut?
    More might be said, however, for actual damages in a society that does not have universal health insurance.

    Maybe schools should not be encouraging minors to go to remote parts of the World with poor health services. Maybe such trips should be allowed but with higher insurance costs built in. Or maybe the Legislature can decide that wider exposure to the World is a public good that should be encouraged by liability caps.