C.A. v. William S. Hart Union High Sch., 53 Cal. 4th 861 (2012)

Through a guardian ad litem, C.A. alleged that while he was a student at Golden Valley High School, he was subjected to sexual harassment and abuse by Roselyn Hubbell, the head guidance counselor at his school. C.A. sued the school district for negligent supervision of Hubbell because the district knew or should have known of her “dangerous and exploitive propensities.” The district demurred to the complaint on the ground that there is no statutory authority for holding a public entity liable for negligent supervision, hiring or retention of its employees. The trial court sustained the demurrer and the court of appeal affirmed, but in this opinion, the California Supreme Court reversed the lower court, holding that a public school district may be vicariously liable for the negligence of administrators or supervisors in hiring and retaining a school employee who sexually harasses and abuses a student. Compare Sharrock v. United States, 673 F.3d 1117 (9th Cir. 2012) (government not liable for injuries sustained by plaintiffs from auto accident with off-duty sailor who was on his way to basketball practice).