New York Court of Appeals - 94 N.Y.2d 32
The case involves a dispute over whether Education Law § 905 (1) allows for a private right of action. The plaintiff, a student at a school operated by the defendant, was not screened for scoliosis during the 1993-1994 school year and was later diagnosed with scoliosis that required surgery. The lower courts granted the District's motion for summary judgment, stating that Education Law § 905 (1) does not create a private right of action and that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim for common-law negligence. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision. The court notes that a statutory command does not necessarily imply a private right of enforcement through tort litigation. The Sheehy v Big Flats Community Day test is used to determine if a private right of action can be reasonably inferred for Education Law § 905 (1). The purpose of Education Law § 905 (1) is to benefit the population as a whole by creating broad-based screening examinations for scoliosis. The District argues that the risk of liability will prompt school districts to seek waivers of the requirement to screen, which would defeat the statute's purpose.
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