Federal Teacher Protection Act — Punitive Damages
The federal Teacher Protection Act (TPA) attempts to limit punitive damage awards against school employees in cases in which they are not immune from liability.
The TPA states that punitive damages may not be awarded against a school employee in an action based upon an act or omission that occurred within the scope of the employee’s employment or responsibilities, unless the plaintiff proves by clear and convincing evidence that the harm was caused by the employee’s willful or criminal conduct or a conscious and flagrant indifference to the rights or safety of the person who was harmed.
Therefore, if a plaintiff proves that the school employee is guilty of willful or criminal conduct or a conscious and flagrant indifference to the rights or safety of the person who was harmed, then the plaintiff may recover punitive damages under the TPA.
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