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Ron Houde of The Kalon Law Firm.

Governmental immunity is alive and well on Connecticut school grounds this year. Two cases, one from the Appellate Court and another from the Supreme Court, are enforcing a hard line on the identifiable person/imminent harm exception to the defense of governmental immunity.

The exception in question dates back to 1979 in Sestito v. Groton, where a police officer did not intervene in a public disturbance until after the plaintiff’s decedent was shot and killed. The case involved conflicting testimony as to the imminence of the harm to the plaintiff’s decedent. The court held the question of imminence should have been submitted to the jury, not decided by the trial court on a motion for directed verdict. (1)

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