May 29, 2018

Employer not liable for damages from an injury resulting from their superiors' exercising poor judgment


Employer not liable for damages from an injury resulting from their superiors' exercising poor judgment
Buckley v City of New York, 176 A.D.2d 207
[Decided with Coulter v City of New York]

Two New York City police officers sued the City to recover money damages for injuries they suffered while confronting a criminal suspect.

Their theory for recovery was that the City was negligent because "standard operating procedures" were not followed in an earlier attempt to arrest a suspect. Buckley and Coulter contended this failure to follow "standard operating procedures" resulted in their suffering injuries when they attempted to arrest the suspect some time later.

The Appellate Division dismissed their appeal, noting that "police officers may not recover monetary damages for the exercise of poor judgment on the part of their superiors in the exercise of their duties."

Although Buckley and Coulter, in the alternative, contended that they were entitled to recover under the provisions of §205-e of the General Municipal Law, the court ruled that §205-e applied only in cases involving the "negligent failure to comply with requirements regarding the maintenance and safety of [a] premises." As there was no allegation that their injuries were the result of such a failure, the Appellate Division held that §205-e was inapplicable insofar as recovery for their injuries was concerned.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:

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