Negligent Failure to Plan – An Emerging Legal Term

Negligent failure to plan is a new and emerging legal challenge and violence is a harsh
reality in contemporary society. Far too many people are inclined to get angry and are prone to act out their frustrations aggressively.

The risk of violence on campus has become a
salient issue. It can happen at any time and any place. In school violence incidents, such as
an Active Shooter attack, there are two types of potential challenges facing your school:
• The first challenge is the survival of the initial attack and
• The second challenge may be the legal attack (lawsuits) against you and your school.
Lawsuits may drag on for many years, costing millions of dollars and erode staff and
faculty morale and support for your school.

• Organizations may be considered negligent if they did not take reasonable and adequate
steps to prepare for possible threats, which is a failure to plan.
• There are a wide range of threats that organizations face and in some cases the threats
relate to geographical location, for example, earthquakes, hurricanes and tornados.
Threats like Active Shooters, terrorists and other violent attacks have no geographical
• With natural disasters, it is common practice and the accepted norm to be prepared in
advance, based on lessons learned from previous disasters. Today, with the
reoccurrence of school violence and overwhelming statistics, there are growing
expectations for schools to prepare in advance for violent threats as well.
• Employer Liability – Employers’ exposure to workers’ compensation for workplace
related injuries is always present, however employers may also be open to intentional tort
theory when the nature of a workplace-related injury does not arise ‘by accident’.
Employer liability for third-party actions occurs when employer does not act to prevent or
eliminate a known threat. Employers could be cited for being in violation if a recognized
hazard of workplace violence has been identified and they fail to do anything to prevent
or abate it.
• As of 1997, the average U.S. jury award in a workplace violence case was $2.2 million.
This demonstrates the need to implement in advance; thorough proactive security
policies and procedures, in lieu of having a jury make a costly decision.

Being prepared means being informed!

Oracle Investigations Group is proud to be one of California’s most experienced, professional and respected investigation firms with a specific focus on the unique and challenging demands that face today’s education community. We will continue to bring you important information and resources for school safety that you can share with your community.