Court: Students must be protected from insect-borne diseases

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled schools must warn and protect students from the foreseeable risk of insect-borne diseases when organizing trips abroad.

The 5-0 ruling came Friday in the case of a private boarding school student from New York City who became ill and suffered brain damage on a trip to China. Justices say a $41.5 million verdict awarded to the student in a federal court lawsuit should not be reduced.

Student Cara Munn attended the Hotchkiss School in Salisbury. She contracted tick-borne encephalitis on the trip in 2007, when she was 15. Her lawyers say the school failed to warn students and take precautions against insect-borne diseases.

The school appealed the verdict to a federal court, which sent the case back to the state Supreme Court for a ruling.