Appeal affirms decision on Motion for Summary Judgment Granted on Governmental Immunity Defense

We had previously reported that In the case of Thivierge v Witham, the Court granted our Motion for Summary Judgment on behalf of the municipal defendants on the issue of governmental immunity.  At that time, the matter was on appeal by the plaintiff to the  Connecticut Appellate Court. Attorney Baio argued the appeal this past spring.

We are pleased to report that we were successful. Last month the Appellate Court affirmed the trial court’s order granting Summary Judgment for the municipality and the ACO.

The action was commenced as a result of a dogbite. The standard statutory dog bite claim was alleged against the dog owner, but the plaintiff also included claims against the City and the Municipal Animal Control Officer, alleging that the Animal Control Officer (ACO) was negligent in her duties to enforce an order that had been issued to the owner some three years prior to the incident that was the basis for the lawsuit and with no intervening incident. A claim was also included against the City for its hiring and supervision of the ACO.

We filed a Motion for Summary Judgment based on the doctrine of governmental immunity, noting that the ACO had made reasonable determinations in the exercise of her discretion, the key being that her actions were discretionary.  The Motion was also filed on behalf of the City maintaining that if the claim against the ACO could not be maintained, neither could the claim for indemnification which was premised on that underlying claim.  The Superior Court agreed and granted the motion for summary judgment. The Court held, after an extensive discussion of the matter and detailed analysis of the law, that the acts of the ACO were discretionary in nature and that none of the narrowly delineated exceptions applied.  Further, since that claim was barred by the doctrine of governmental immunity, the claims against the municipality for indemnification must also fail.

The Appellate Court affirmed. You can read the Appellate Court decision by clicking here

Claudia A. Baio

Claudia A. Baio