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MUNICIPAL LAW: Superior Court denies motion for summary judgment as to recklessness claim against police officer arising out of decision not to pursue alleged DUI driver

Two lawsuits arose out of a motor vehicle collision involving an intoxicated driver. Officer Matthew Vose was out patrolling the streets as a police officer for the Town of Southington. Mr. Vose was on patrol in his cruiser when he observed an alleged drunk driver speeding down the roadway. Officer Vose turned the police cruiser lights on, but did not pursue the erratic driver. Shortly after passing Officer Vose, the driver hit and injured the plaintiffs, leaving one plaintiff dead. The plaintiffs’ allegations sounded in negligence and recklessness. The defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that governmental immunity barred the claims. The court granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment on the counts of negligence and indemnification. The court held that the officer’s decision not to pursue the alleged drunk driver was discretionary in nature, not ministerial, and therefore Officer Vose’s actions fell within the scope of governmental immunity. In both actions, the court denied the defendant’s motion for summary judgment as to the plaintiffs’ recklessness claims, finding that the issues of recklessness were issues of fact for a jury.  Naccarato v. Vose, No. CV176043710S, 2020 WL 4813921, (Conn. Super. Ct. July 14, 2020); Torres v. Vose, No. CV176041685S, 2020 WL 4814252, (Conn. Super. Ct. July 14, 2020)