The Massachusetts Appeals Court has upheld summary judgment in the favor of the Town of Williamstown, two of its teachers, and several parent-chaperones who accompanied a field trip. The plaintiff was riding his bicycle on the Cape Cod Rail trail when he was involved in a collision with a student who was on a bicycle ride as part of a town-sponsored field trip. The Appeals Court upheld the trial court’s determination that the Town could not be held liable to the plaintiff by virtue of Section 10(j) of the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act because the student involved in the crash was not acting on behalf of the Town. The court also upheld the determination that parent-chaperones who accompany children on a field trip are “public employees” and therefore are not subject to personal liability. Had the court ruled otherwise, parent-chaperones could be held liable under certain circumstances for negligent supervision of the school children that they chaperone.
For more information regarding Vandenberg, et al. v. Williamstown, et al. please contact Nancy Frankel Pelletier, Esq. or David S. Lawless, Esq.