Torres v. Rich
Justice John Lahtinen
Torres appealed from a Supreme Court order that granted Saint Cabrini Home's (SCH) motion for summary judgment dismissing its complaint in this personal injury action. Torres, a 13-year-old neglected child, was placed by the Ulster County Department of Social Services in a residential facility operated by SCH. Torres left the facility without consent and was struck by a car near State Route 9W sustaining serious injuries. Torres sued SCH claiming negligent supervision. The divided panel noted SCH's staff followed established protocols by monitoring Torres' movements, and no evidence revealed that such protocols were deficient or that SCH acted improperly. The dissent contended SCH never showed the absence of triable issues of fact of whether its staff met its duty to provide the degree of care to Torres that a reasonable parent would. They contended factual issues existed if a parent of ordinary prudence in a similar situation would have employed aggressive means to protect Torres rather than merely following her in light of evidence that she previously threatened to harm herself. The dissent thus disagreed and believed Torres was entitled to a trial.