The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined the negligent supervision action by a student who was assaulted at school should not have been dismissed:
While the plaintiff testified that he had never been physically assaulted by the other student prior to the subject incident, he testified that the other student always made threatening comments to him during Spanish class, of which seven or eight were serious in nature, and three or four were accompanied by a closed fist motion in an attempt to get the plaintiff to flinch. The plaintiff also testified that he complained about these threats to the Spanish teacher, who had witnessed the other student make a closed fist motion toward the plaintiff on at least one or two occasions, and that he asked the teacher if she could do something about these threats, but she never said anything to the other student. Moreover, while the plaintiff testified that he did not know whether the other student had ever threatened or assaulted other students, the School District failed to submit any affidavit or deposition testimony from its own personnel establishing that it did not have specific knowledge or notice of the dangerous conduct that caused the alleged injuries to the plaintiff … .
With respect to proximate cause, the School District did not demonstrate, prima facie, that the subject incident occurred so quickly and spontaneously “that even the most intense supervision could not have prevented it” … . The plaintiff testified that approximately 10 minutes before the end of class on the date of the assault, while the class was silently working on an assignment, the other student threatened out loud to stab him, which was overheard by the rest of the class and the teacher. Nizen-Jacobellis v Lindenhurst Union Free Sch. Dist., 2021 NY Slip Op 08195, Second Dept 2-24-21