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MUNICIPAL LAW: Supreme Court holds plaintiff not an identifiable person subject to imminent harm

The plaintiff sued for negligent supervision when he was accidentally cut in a school auditorium when bending down to pick up a pair of safety scissors that another student had been carrying while running around the auditorium. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants had failed to remove the dangerous object that caused his injuries.  The defendants denied the allegations and then moved to amend their answer to add the special defense of governmental immunity.

The trial court did not rule on the motion to amend and found for the plaintiff, stating that he had satisfied the imminent harm-identifiable person exception to governmental immunity.

On appeal, the court agreed with the defendants that the plaintiff was a not an identifiable person subject to imminent harm as the plaintiff had failed to prove that a student running with safety scissors was so likely to cause harm that it created a clear duty to act immediately.  The Court also held that while the trial court did not expressly act on the defendants’ motion to amend, it had implicitly granted it because its decision identified governmental immunity as the primary issue.  The case was remanded with instruction to enter judgment for the defendants.

Martinez v. City of New Haven, 328 Conn. 1 (2018)