The United States District Court in Springfield allowed a Motion to Dismiss filed by Robinson Donovan on behalf of a regional school district.  The plaintiff had alleged he suffered significant physical injuries when he was struck by a cruiser responding to a false alarm at one of the school district’s buildings. The plaintiff alleged that his injuries were the result of the school district negligently maintaining the school district’s fire suppression system, which caused false alarms and a response by law enforcement and first responders.

While the school district denied that it was negligent in any way, Robinson Donovan moved to dismiss the claim for negligence against the school district relying on Leavitt v. Brockton Hosp., Inc., 454 Mass. 37 (2009) and other related cases, and argued that the district’s alleged conduct could not have been the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.  In other words, the motion argued that the plaintiff’s injuries when he was struck by the cruiser were not a foreseeable risk of the failure of the school district’s fire suppression system.   Robinson Donovan’s motion also included out of state cases with similar fact patterns to support this argument.

The other defendants followed suit and filed similar motions to dismiss.  In dismissing the action, Judge Ponsor eloquently noted that “[t]he extent of Plaintiff’s injuries makes the court’s ruling a distasteful responsibility. It would be false charity, however, to pretend that the complaint against these Defendants arising from Plaintiff’s injuries has sufficient substance to justify its continuance.”

This case was reported by the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly on May 5, 2014, and is available on GPO.gov.