Submitted on briefs November 29, 2017
to recover damages for intentional infliction of emotional
distress, and for other relief, brought to the Superior Court
in the judicial district of New Haven, where the action was
withdrawn as against the defendant Board of Education of the
City of New Haven; thereafter, the court, Nazzaro,
J., granted the motion to strike filed by the
defendant Yolanda Jones-Generette et al.; subsequently, the
court, Blue, J., granted the motion for
judgment filed by the defendant Yolanda Jones-Generette et
al. and rendered judgment thereon, from which the plaintiff
appealed to this court. Affirmed.
R. Williams filed a brief for the appellant (plaintiff).
C. Kramer, assistant corporation counsel, filed a brief for
the appellees (defendant Yolanda Jones-Generette et al.).
DiPentima, C. J., and Bright and Bishop, Js.
plaintiff, Amy Binkowski, appeals from the judgment of the
trial court rendered in favor of the defendants Yolanda
Jones-Generette and Linda O'Brien following the
granting of their motion to strike her third revised
complaint. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court
improperly concluded that her complaint failed, as a matter
of law, to allege facts that would bring it within the
intentional tort exception to the exclusivity provision of
the Workers' Compensation Act (act), General Statutes
§ 31-275 et seq., as set forth in General Statutes
§ 31-293a. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the
judgment of the trial court.
plaintiff's third revised complaint contains two counts,
one against each defendant, alleging intentional infliction
of emotional distress. Both counts allege identical facts.
The plaintiff's claims arise out of a work related
incident that occurred on February 26, 2014. At that time,
the plaintiff was a tenured teacher in the New Haven public
school system at Lincoln-Bassett Elementary School (school)
in New Haven. Jones-Generette was the principal, and
O'Brien was the assistant principal, for the school
during the 2013-2014 school year.
summer of 2013, the defendants instituted a policy for the
school regarding student discipline. The policy established
that the administrators of the school would not be involved
in any issues related to student discipline. In accordance
with the policy, the defendants ‘‘refused to
allow classroom teachers to send disruptive students out of
the classroom to a different environment, refused to
intervene in any disrupted classroom, refused to discipline
disruptive or violent students or to permit classroom
teachers to discipline disruptive or violent students,
refused to allow help to be summoned from outside of the
school under any circumstances, and refused to provide any
protection whatsoever to teachers confronted with disruptive
or violent students.''
the 2013-2014 school year, violence at the school escalated.
On February 26, 2014, two students assaulted the plaintiff in
her classroom, knocking her to the floor. As a result of the
assault, the plaintiff severely sprained her left ankle and
knee. The plaintiff was unable to stand, so she called out
for help. Adrianna Petrucci, the teacher in the classroom
across the hall, responded to the plaintiff's call for
help. The plaintiff was in pain, lying on the floor, and
Petrucci immediately called the school's main office for
assistance. Petrucci ‘‘also sent a text message
to . . . O'Brien, stating: ‘[The plaintiff] is on
the floor in her room from being shoved out of the way.'
'' After receiving the text message, O'Brien told
Petrucci to send a student to the office. Petrucci repeated
that the plaintiff ‘‘is on the floor'' in
her classroom, and O'Brien responded that she did not
know what that meant.
O'Brien did not send security to assist the plaintiff or
go to the classroom herself, she sent the school nurse to
help the plaintiff. While the nurse and another teacher
helped place the plaintiff in a wheelchair, some students
began fighting in the classroom; the defendants still had not
gone to the plaintiff's classroom. The plaintiff alleged
that ‘‘Jones-Generette was standing down at the
end of the hallway doing nothing. At no point was 911 called,
and at no point was any outside assistance
plaintiff alleged that the defendants' conduct was
‘‘wilful and malicious. It was carried out for
the conscious purpose of causing physical and emotional
injury to the plaintiff and other teachers and to cause
conditions in the school to deteriorate so badly that the
state of Connecticut would offer special financial assistance
to the school, which otherwise would not have been available.
The said conduct was carried out in conscious disregard of
the injuries it would cause to the plaintiff, to other
teachers, and to the students in the school.'' The
plaintiff further alleged that the defendants' conduct
‘‘was extreme and outrageous and was carried out
with the knowledge that it would cause the plaintiff to
suffer severe emotional distress.'' The plaintiff
sought compensatory and punitive damages, claiming that she
suffered physical injuries and emotional distress as the
result of the defendants' conduct.
defendants filed a motion to strike the plaintiff's third
revised complaint. They argued that the plaintiff's
claims are barred by the exclusivity provision of the act
because the complaint failed to allege sufficient facts to
support the claim that the defendants' conduct was wilful
or malicious. Following a hearing on June 22, 2015, the trial
court, Nazzaro, J., issued a memorandum of decision
granting the defendants' motion to strike. The court
concluded that there was ‘‘nothing in the
complaint to suggest that there was intent on the part of the
defendants to cause the plaintiff's particular
injuries.'' Specifically, the court held that
‘‘the defendants' failure to take action does
not demonstrate that they intended to cause the harmful
situation under which the plaintiff suffered injury, and
therefore their actions do not fall within an exception [to]
the exclusivity provision of the [a]ct. Accordingly, the
plaintiff has not set forth a legally ...