Whether or not a private college or university can be sued for damages will depend on whether the school is considered immune from lawsuits as a charitable institution.  In some jurisdictions a charitable institution is immune, or partially immune, or not immune at all, from tort liability.  If the private college or university is not a charitable institution, then they can be sued like any other organization. 

When Can a Private College Be Held Liable for Injuries?

If the college or university is found to not be immune from lawsuits, then the usual rules of tort and negligence law will apply in order to see if the school is at fault for an injury.  The liability for private schools and universities for negligence in causing injury to students and others may arise in these kinds of situations: 

  • Injuries from accidents due to the conditions of buildings, equipment, or outside premises
  • Injuries connected to class-related activities
  • Injuries during recreational activities
  • Injuries caused by student’s intoxication
  • Injures due to fraternity or sorority hazing
  • Injuries resulting from negligent hiring and retention of employees
  • Injuries resulting from health care, or failure to render medical assistance

Do I Need a Lawyer if I Have Been Injured at a Private Institution?

A good personal injury attorney will be able to advise you of your rights and options if you have been injured at a private university.  If after reviewing all the evidence you decide to sue the school, you will need a lawyer to help you navigate through the complicated legal process.