TikTok Challenge Inspires Students to Vandalize School Bathrooms
The social application TikTok, wildly popular among adolescents and teens, features a school bathroom challenge that asks students to vandalize and steal items from school bathrooms.
Dubbed the “devious lick” challenge, students are inspired to steal common items, such as soap dispensers, from school bathrooms. Council Rock School District in Newtown, Pennsylvania confirmed to parents that this has happened in district schools. At Hatboro-Horsham School District, students have ripped signs off the walls and stolen soap dispensers.
Popular videos include students pouring paint on toilets, smashing toilet paper dispensers and one student cutting the hair of other students in the bathroom.
While it may be just a social media application, the students who take part in this TikTok challenge may be disciplined by their school. Schools are sending out letters to parents warning of “devious lick” and the discipline that is likely to follow vandalism and theft of school property, including calls to the police. There are schools that have also closed bathrooms in response.
We recommend that schools inform families of this matter and the potential consequences of such conduct. We also advise that schools ensure that their staff are up to date on the potential issues that can arise. It is important to review safety protocols for teachers or staff entering bathrooms while students are on campus. We would like schools to avoid closing bathrooms at all costs unless there is damage that prevents their appropriate and safe usage.
The disciplinary issues that surround school vandalism and theft will likely be a challenge for school districts. Our legal team at MacMain Leinhauser advises and counsels schools regarding all types of legal issues. Call Brian Leinhauser at 484-318-7802 or complete our online form to get started. Located in West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout New Jersey and the Philadelphia area.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Ruling Allows More Time to Sue
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently ruled that the time bar that was part of the Medical Care Availability and Reduction Error Act (MCARE) is unconstitutional. The time bar, also known as the statute of repose, is unlike a statute of limitations, which allows for a time limitation on a cause of action to be waived or tolled. However, a statute of repose is an absolute bar to claims brought after a certain period, even if the injury is discovered or if the claim accrued after the limitation. A cause of action is barred after seven years under MCARE. However, the recent Pennsylvania ruling will allow those who have claims under MCARE a chance to assert their rights in court after the seven years have passed.
The case in question involved a plaintiff who donated his liver lobe when his mother needed a liver transplant due to Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD). Eleven years later, a routine blood test conducted on the mother revealed that she still had AATD. The liver transplant surgery should have eliminated AATD. Even though the plaintiff was tested to determine if he also had AATD before the transplant, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) never informed him of the results. The plaintiff assumed that UPMC would not have transplanted his liver if he had the syndrome. When the plaintiff’s mother discovered she still had AATD, a subsequent test on her son revealed he too had AATD.
The two proceeded to file a medical malpractice claim against UPMC and others in 2015. The trial court dismissed the medical malpractice brought against UPMC and other defendants based on the statute of repose bar of seven years under MCARE. The appellate court upheld the trial court ruling.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, however, overturned the ruling and argued that UPMC did not meet the burden of review. The appellants failed to show how the statute passed intermediate scrutiny. The court did not find a sufficient governmental interest to support the time bar because of the lack of supporting statistical findings on whether the seven-year limit affected insurance costs, or the number of malpractice suits started after seven years.
Erosion of Time Limits in Medical Malpractice Cases
The case is part of a trend of rulings in Pennsylvania courts that are doing away with time limitations on medial malpractice cases in the state. These recent cases will impact management of claims by health care institutions. Ruling that the time bar is unconstitutional also calls into question the timetables used by these institutions in evaluating potential claims. Additionally, medical malpractice insurance rates may begin to rise.
Medical professionals and institutions may have to reevaluate their claims procedures and policies considering the recent ruling.
For a professional consultation related to medical malpractice claims, contact MacMain Leinhauser at 484-318-7106 or contact us online for an initial consultation. We serve medical professionals and institutions throughout Philadelphia and Chester County from our office in West Chester, Pennsylvania.