Court: Students must be protected from insect-borne diseases

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

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

Cara Munn, a student at the Hotchkiss School in Salisbury, contracted tick-borne encephalitis on the 2007 trip. 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.