United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO AMEND COMPLAINT
AND DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Bond Arterton, U.S.D.J.
Indian Mountain School ("IMS") moves [Doc. # 112]
for summary judgment on all five counts of Plaintiff s
complaint. Plaintiff moves [Doc. # 111] to amend the
Complaint to add an allegation that Indian Mountain
School's Headmaster, Mr. Peter Carleton, was the alter
ego of the school. For the reasons set forth below, the Court
denies Plaintiffs Motion to amend the complaint as futile and
grants Defendant's Motion for summary judgment in part.
This case will proceed to trial on Counts 1, 2, and 3, with
the Court reserving opinion on Count 4.
William Brewster Brownville ("Plaintiff or "Mr.
Brownville"), was enrolled as a boarding student at IMS,
a private school in Connecticut, from 1983 to 1987, when he
was 12-15 years old. (Def.'s D. Conn. Loc. Civ. R. 56a(1)
Statement ("56a(1) Stmt") ¶¶ 1-2;
Pl's D. Conn. Loc. Civ. R. 56a(2) Statement ("56a(2)
Stmt.) ¶¶ 1-2.) Plaintiff claims that he was
subject to numerous instances of sexual abuse during his time
at school, both at the hands of a teacher named Christopher
Simonds and at the hands of IMS's Headmaser, Peter
Carleton. (Ex. G ("Brownville Tr.") to Mattei Aff.
[Doc. # 84-1] at 122, 184-87.) Further facts established by
the summary judgment record will be identified as necessary
in the following analysis.
moves for summary judgment on all five Counts of Plaintiffs
complaint. Summary judgment is appropriate where,
"resolv[ing] all ambiguities and draw[ing] all
permissible factual inferences in favor of the party against
whom summary judgment is sought, " Holcomb v. Iona
Coll., 521 F.3d 130, 137 (2d Cir. 2008), "the
movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law, " Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). "A dispute
regarding a material fact is genuine if the evidence is such
that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the
nonmoving party." Williams v. Utica Coll. of
Syracuse Univ., 453 F.3d 112, 116 (2d Cir. 2006)
(quotation marks omitted). "The substantive law
governing the case will identify those facts that are
material, and '[o]nly disputes over facts that might
affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will
properly preclude the entry of summary judgment.'"
Bouboulis v. Transp. Workers Union of Am., 442 F.3d
55, 59 (2d Cir. 2006) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). When considering a
motion for summary judgment, the Court may consider
depositions, documents, affidavits, interrogatory answers,
and other exhibits in the record. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c).
The Negligence and Recklessness Claims (Counts 1-3) Fall
Within the 30-Year Statute of Limitations
moves for summary judgment on Plaintiffs first three
counts-negligent supervision, recklessness, and negligent
infliction of emotional distress-on statute of limitations
grounds, claiming that these claims are time-barred under
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-584, which applies to
unintentional negligence and recklessness
claims. (Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. [Doc. # 113] at
5.) Plaintiff responds that in promulgating Conn. Gen. Stat.
§ 52-577d, the Connecticut legislature extended the
statute of limitations for any tort action-intentional or
unintentional-where the injury is caused by sexual abuse of a
minor, and that his claims are timely under this 30-year
limitations period. (Opp'n [Doc. # 120] at 3.) Section
Notwithstanding the provisions of section 52-577, no action
to recover damages for personal injury to a minor, including
emotional distress, caused by sexual abuse, sexual
exploitation or sexual assault may be brought by such person
later than thirty years from the date such person attains the
age of majority.
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-577d.
noted in the Court's Ruling on Defendant's Motion to
Certify a Question [Doc. # 147], the holding in Doe v.
Boy Scouts of America Corp. squarely addresses which
statute of limitations applies. In Boy Scouts, the
Connecticut Supreme Court held:
when the legislature enacted § 52-577d, it intended for
the statute to apply to actions sounding in negligence and
recklessness and to carve out such actions from the scope of
§ 52-584. Accordingly... § 52-577d applies not only
to actions against the perpetrators of sexual abuse of
minors, but also to actions against parties whose negligent
acts or omissions legally caused the personal injuries
suffered by the victims of such abuse.
323 Conn. 303, 340 (2016).
the clarity of the holding in Boy Scouts and its
clear application to the facts of this case, it is
controlling. The thirty-year statute of limitations set forth
in Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-577d is applicable and
Plaintiffs negligent supervision, reckless supervision, and
negligent infliction of emotional distress claims are timely.
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (Fourth
order to prevail on a claim for the intentional infliction of
emotional distress ('TIED") in Connecticut, a
plaintiff must establish four elements:
(1) that the actor intended to inflict emotional distress; or
that he knew or should have known that emotional distress was
a likely result of his conduct; (2) that the conduct was
extreme and outrageous; (3) that the defendant's conduct
was the cause of the plaintiffs distress and (4) that the
emotional distress sustained by the plaintiff was severe.
Petyan v. Ellis, 200 Conn. 243, 253 (2006).
"Liability for intentional infliction of emotional
distress requires conduct exceeding all bounds usually
tolerated by decent society, of a nature which is especially
calculated to cause, and does cause, mental distress of a
very serious kind." Ancona v. Manafort Bros.,
Inc., 56 Conn.App. 701, 712 (2000). "Conduct on the
part of the defendant that is merely insulting or displays
bad manners or results in hurt feelings is insufficient to
form the basis for an action based upon intentional
infliction of emotional distress." Carrol v.
Allstate Insurance Co., 262 Conn. 433, 443 (2003).
argues that summary judgment should be granted for three
reasons: (1) nonfeasance alone cannot support an IIED claim
because it is neither extreme nor outrageous as a matter of
law and, even if it were, none of the school's acts or
omissions rises to the level of extreme outrageousness to
support the claim; (2) the acts of the employees fall outside
the scope of their employment, and therefore cannot be
attributed to the school, and (3) the headmaster cannot be
treated as the "alter ego" of the school for
purposes of establishing liability. (Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J.
abandons any claim to liability on a theory of respondeat
superior. (Original Opp'n [Doc. # 84] at 31.) Rather, he
proceeds on two theories. First, Plaintiff claims that
"Peter Carleton was the alter ego of IMS, and his sexual
assaults and abuse are attributed to the school."
(Opp'n at 31.) Second, he argues that IMS "utterly
failed to act to prevent harm" (id. at 32),
"affirmatively continued Simond's employment at the
school for years" despite numerous red flags about his
behavior (id. at 32-33), and that with respect to
Mr. Carleton, "there is no reasonable explanation why
Carleton's lascivious behavior did not result in his
termination." These omissions and commissions, which