Mirto v. Villano
When a conservator obtains the approval of the Probate Court for conduct taken on behalf of the conservatee's estate, the conservator can be entitled to quasi-judicial immunity. The plaintiff, Nancy Mirton, alleged that the defendant conservator, John Villano, did not promptly distribute trust assets to provide for the decedent's health, although the decedent complained that she required additional medical care. Mirton sued, alleging that Villano breached his fiduciary duty, because he failed to take action to distribute trust assets to the decedent and he paid a contractor an exorbitant amount to remodel a bathroom. The defendant objected that when the Probate Court approved accountings, it approved his conduct as a court-appointed conservator of the decedent's estate, and that he is entitled to quasi-judicial immunity. The plaintiff objected that the Probate Court did not approve the defendant's acts and omissions. The Superior Court found that the accountings were not dispositive with respect to whether the defendant failed to provide enough assets for the decedent's support, health and general welfare, as alleged. The defendant conservator failed to prove he is entitled to quasi-judicial immunity, and the Superior Court denied his motion to dismiss.