This motion for summary judgment by defendant Long Branch Board of Education (board) stems from an action against it and codefendant Industrial Associates (Industrial) for personal injuries sustained by plaintiff while he was a Long Branch Senior High School student and a participant in that school's Cooperative Industrial Education Program.
On December 10, 1974 plaintiff, then a 17-year-old senior, was engaged in the program under the sponsorship of codefendant Industrial and was employed in the repair of the roof of a building owned by it when he lost his balance and fell to the ground some 35 feet below, sustaining substantial injuries and resultant medical expenses.
The abovementioned program is defined in N.J.A.C. 6:42-2.1 as "a cooperative work-study program of vocational education for persons who, through a cooperative arrangement between the school and employers, receive instruction, including required academic course and related vocational instruction, by the alternation of study in school with a job in any occupational field * * *."
Plaintiff alleges a breach of duty by defendant board in that it failed to adhere to standards of safety for construction and maintenance work established by the Federal Occupational
Safety and Health Administration and adopted by the New Jersey State Board of Education for its vocational cooperative programs.
Defendant board asserts its immunity under the New Jersey Tort Claims Act, N.J.S.A. 59:1-1 et seq. , contending that it is immunized from liability for failure to supervise the vocational activities conducted on the private property of codefendant Industrial.
As was held in English v. Newark Housing Auth. , 138 N.J. Super. 425, 428 (App. Div. 1976), the terminology of the Tort Claims Act makes it obvious that the goal of the Legislature was to reestablish immunity for all governmental subdivisions within its definition of "public entity," a description clearly encompassing defendant board. See N.J.S.A. 59:1-3. Burg v. State , 147 N.J. Super. 316, 320 (App. Div. 1977), characterized the scope of immunity as that which was "all inclusive within that definition except as otherwise provided by the Act." N.J.S.A. 59:2-1.
Plaintiff here seeks to found defendant board's liability upon certain language in New Jersey and federal administrative regulations. Specifically, he refers to N.J.A.C. 6:42-2.2, which provides that "Each program [ i.e. , vocational cooperative program] will provide on-the-job training that * * * employs student-learners in conformity with Federal, State and local laws and regulations * * *," and also N.J.A.C. 6:43-2.3(b)(3), which contains the requirement that "Student assignments shall assure * * * (iv) Compliance with safety standards; (v) On-the-job supervision; and (vi) Compliance with appropriate State and Federal Laws and regulations."
Plaintiff next points to defendant board's alleged failure to adhere to the federal regulations issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, namely, "Safety and Health Regulations for Construction," § 1926.105, calling for the utilization of safety nets for work places more than 25 feet above the ground. Thus plaintiff submits that defendant board was negligent in failing to implement the
above terms of the federal safety regulations and in not providing adequate supervision and control of both the activities of defendant Industrial and ...