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Can I sue the school for an unpaid internship where I had to be admitted to the ER for passing out due to the conditions?

Clifton Park, NY |

As an unpaid intern we are required by the school to work 8 hour days, but this particular preceptor made us work anywhere from 10-12, and we were there are 5:30am. Even though we were there so early we did not get lunch until 11-2pm. I passed out from exhaustion/weakness from being hungry and the school and site both refuse to cover the bill. Before I had even passed out, I tried twice to get the school to do something, and they ignored me. They ignored me again when I tried to get them to contact me afterwards. I had to email the college president who said no. Do I have a case against the school for not ensuring the safety of students on rotations?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. On paper, your facts can be alleged as a valid legal claim. But in the event your potential recovery will be minimal because you do not have significant damages, and you will very likely lose altogether on issues of causation. The means for proving that your medical event was caused by the factors you cite will be very expensive and highly unlikely to meet your burden of proof. This potential suit will not be in your long-range interests.

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  2. A lot more facts would be necessary to provide you with a meaningful response.

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  3. I think this falls under the doctrine of tough luck. You have no actionable claim.


  4. Without a significant monetary loss, the case could cost more than you recover, but you can have a local lawyer investigate.

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