01 Mar Gloucester County Schools: Va. Code Ann. §8.01-47 – a Lawyer’s Immunity
Plaintiffs in Gregory Joseph Gagnon, et al. v. Travis Burns, et al., No. CL08-572 in Circuit Court for Gloucester County, Virginia, are the family of a student who suffered brain injuries. Defendant Assistant Principal additionally seeks to interpose Va Code Ann. §8.01-47.
§8.01-47 immunizes a “principal…who, in good faith with reasonable cause and without malice, acts to report, investigate or cause any investigation” of certain school activity vis-à-vis the “making of such report, investigation or disclosure”. §8.01-47 must be strictly construed because it is in derogation of common law. Morris, supra.
But Gagnon is not an action for slander, libel, invasion of privacy, etc. for “making of such a report, investigation or disclosure,” as contemplated by §8.01-47. §8.01-47 is not applicable to an action for physical personal injuries for not making an investigation and taking action, which is the facts of Gagnon.