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March 2020

Hartford Team Obtains Favorable Ruling from Connecticut Superior Court

Connecticut litigation Partner Michael Thompson along with Associate Nicholas Varney recently obtained a favorable ruling from the Connecticut Superior Court striking the emotional distress claims made by parents whose child allegedly suffered physical abuse at a day care facility.

The parents brought claims against the day care facility, as well as its agents and employees, alleging that their children were injured while under the care of the facility. The parents also brought independent claims for emotional distress they claimed to have suffered as a result of the alleged physical abuse sustained by their children.

Thompson and Varney moved to strike the parents’ claims for emotional distress on the ground that their claims were devoid of allegations of proximity to the incident and substantial injury. In particular, they argued that the parents’ claims for emotional distress were too attenuated from the care of their children, and that the day care facility owed no direct duty to the parents. They also argued that the parents failed to allege that their claimed harm might result in bodily injury.

After contested briefing and oral argument, the Court agreed with the day care facility and struck the parents’ claims for emotional distress damages. The Court refused to hold the day care center liable for the parents’ damages on the ground that their injuries were foreclosed by Connecticut law. The Court also held, as a matter of law, that the day care owed no direct duty to the parents because the harms they allegedly suffered were not foreseeable.

Michael P. Thompson
Nicholas M. Varney