Tort Claims and Litigation


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):


For information on service of complaints/writs, please go here.

What is a tort claim?

 A tort claim is a claim against the School District or its employees for damage to or loss of property or personal injury or death. Such claims may be brought only for damage, injury, or death arising out of the activities of the School District of Philadelphia.

What law governs claims against the School District?

 The Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act (42 Pa.C.S. Section 8501, et seq.) governs claims against all Pennsylvania municipal entities, including the School District.

The Tort Claims Act grants immunity to the School District except in certain types of matters. Only certain types of claims, such as some motor vehicle accidents and certain types of accidents on school property, may be actionable against the School District under the Act.

The Act also limits the amount and types of damages that may be recovered.


How do I make a tort claim?

 Claims must be submitted using the online form. Click the button to access the form: 

 If you need assistance completing the form or are unable to access it online, please contact Elizabeth Otero, Legal Secretary at 215-400-5256. 


How long will it take for my claim to be processed?

 The time it takes to process a claim depends on a host of different factors. 

 Generally, within one week you will receive a communication acknowledging your claim and providing instructions about what we will need to begin our investigation. 

 After we receive your documents, the Office of General Counsel will evaluate your claim and either deny your claim or, in certain instances, make an offer to settle the matter. This may take several months, your patience is appreciated.

 If you accept the School District’s offer (if made), you will receive a General Release, which you will need to have notarized and then returned to Upon receipt of the General Release from you, a check will be issued for the amount agreed upon.  It can take several weeks for the School District’s Office of Accounting to process your check.


Why do I need to fill out a W-9 to proceed with my claim?

 The School District’s Office of Accounting requires a signed, completed W-9 form in order to issue checks.


Where do I send my claims documents?

 Email your claims documents as attachments to  If you prefer to mail your documents, please use the following address:

School District of Philadelphia
Office of General Counsel
Attn: Claims
440 N. Broad Street, Suite 313
Philadelphia, PA 19130

You may also fax information to: 215-400-4121.


Does the School District have insurance to cover claims for personal injury or civil rights claims, motor vehicle accidents or property damage?

 No. The School District, like the City of Philadelphia, is self-insured.