Di Terisi v. Stamford Health System Inc.
An employer cannot be legally responsible for hiring, training or supervising a worker accused of wrongful conduct, unless the employer knew about the employee's propensity for the type of conduct that caused the injury. In March 2004, the 94-year-old plaintiff, Santina Di Teresi, was admitted to Stamford Hospital for treatment for pneumonia. Latrina Futrell, a registered nurse, allegedly observed a nurse's assistant, Robert Mayes, sexually assaulting Di Teresi. Di Teresi had been placed in the room farthest away from the nurses' station, and the patient's bed curtain had been drawn for privacy. The plaintiff sued Stamford Health System and the hospital, alleging negligent supervision and that the hospital should have required that two nurses' assistants be assigned to work together, to handle elderly female patients. The defendants moved for summary judgment on the negligent supervision count and argued it was not foreseeable that a nurse's assistant would sexually assault an elderly patient. "[I]n [a] negligent supervision action, [the] plaintiff must plead and prove that she suffered an injury due to the defendant's failure to supervise an employee whom the defendant had [a] duty to supervise," pursuant to the Connecticut Supreme Court's 2010 decision, Brooks v. Sweeney. "[D]efendants cannot be held liable for their alleged negligent hiring, training, supervision or retention of an employee accused of wrongful conduct unless they had notice of said employee's propensity for the type of behavior causing the plaintiff's harm," pursuant to Stamford Superior Court Judge Alfred Jennings Jr.'s 2011 decision, Loglisci v. Stamford Hospital. Here, the court found that there was a genuine issue of material fact with respect to whether the alleged sexual assault was foreseeable. The court denied the motion for summary judgment on the negligent supervision count.