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Tort Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

by Agati, Taryn


SC20425 - Cole v. City of New Haven ("This appeal requires us to consider the limits of our recent decision in Borelli v. Renaldi, ___ Conn. ___, ___ A.3d ___ (2020), with respect to whether applicable state and municipal policies render a police officer's acts during a pursuit of a motorist ministerial, rather than discretionary, for purposes of governmental immunity. The plaintiff, Amaadi Cole, brought this negligence action against the defendants, the city of New Haven (city) and one of its police officers, Nikki Curry, seeking damages for personal injuries sustained when Curry pulled her police cruiser directly into an oncoming traffic lane in which the plaintiff was traveling on his dirt bike, causing him to swerve and strike a tree. The plaintiff appeals from the granting of summary judgment by the trial court in favor of the defendants on the ground that they were entitled to governmental immunity for discretionary acts pursuant to General Statutes ยง 52-557n (a) (2) (B). On appeal, the plaintiff claims, inter alia, that the trial court incorrectly determined that Curry's decision to drive her cruiser into the oncoming traffic lane was a discretionary act because her actions violated several policies that imposed ministerial duties regarding roadblocks, the operation of police vehicles, and pursuits. We agree with the plaintiff and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")