Wynne v. Summerland Inc.
Although a camp president may not be legally responsible for negligence, if a minor camper is injured, a camp president who is also a camp director may be legally responsible. Allegedly, the plaintiff's decedent, 13, was injured while biking at summer camp in Kent. The plaintiff estate administrator sued the camp, the camp's president and its directors, alleging that they breached their duty to be responsible for the health of minor campers, failed to supervise and train camp counselors, failed to provide adequate instructions to campers and failed to prohibit counselors from taking campers off the premises on unsafe bicycle trips. The defendants moved for summary judgment. Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies §19-13-B27s provides, "The camp director shall be responsible at all times for the health, comfort and safety of campers." The court found that the defendant camp president is not legally responsible, in his position as president, for the alleged negligence of the corporation that operated the camp, absent evidence the corporation was his alter ego. "[T]he director of a youth camp," added the court, "functions as the chief on-site official of the camp and is charged with certain responsibilities including . . . the safety of campers." There is a genuine issue of material fact with respect to whether the defendant camp president, in his position as camp director, breached his duty and is legally responsible. Counselors testified that they informed the plaintiff's decedent at the top of the hill that the hill was steep and that she would be required to use her brakes, to control her speed. The defendants argued that the grade and contours of the road were easily seen. The court found that there was a genuine issue whether any discussion between counselors and the plaintiff's decedent at the top of the hill was sufficient to warn the plaintiff's decedent, who had not previously traveled on that route. There were genuine issues of material fact with respect to whether the steep part of the road actually could be seen from the top of the hill. The court denied the defendants' motion for summary judgment.