Emerick v. Connecticut Department of Public Health
A municipality is immune from damages for negligent acts or omissions that require the use of judgment or discretion, pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §52-557n(a)(2). The plaintiff, Roger Emerick, sued the Connecticut Department of Public Health and the Town of Glastonbury, alleging that the town followed the department's advice to replace a diving board at a municipal facility with a slide. Allegedly, the plaintiff had enjoyed the use of the municipal diving board for many years and was required to join a private club, in order to continue to dive. The plaintiff's complaint alleged that the municipality was negligent. The court found that the plaintiff failed to establish the municipality owed the plaintiff the duty to provide a replacement diving board. Absent proof of a duty, the plaintiff cannot prevail on his negligence claim. The municipality moved for summary judgment and argued it was entitled to immunity. C.G.S. §52-557n(a)(2) provides, "[A] political subdivision of the state shall not be liable for damages to person or property caused by . . . (B) negligent acts or omissions which require the exercise of judgment or discretion as an official function of the authority expressly or impliedly granted by law." The municipal officials exercised their judgment or discretion when they decided to replace the diving board with a slide. The court granted the municipality's motion for summary judgment on the negligence count.