Favale v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport

233 F.R.D. 243 (D. Conn. 2005)

 

RULE:

Both negligent hiring and negligent supervision claims turn upon the type of wrongful conduct that actually precipitated the harm suffered by a plaintiff. It is well settled that defendants cannot be held liable for their alleged negligent hiring, training, supervision or retention of an employee accused of wrongful conduct unless they had notice of the employee's propensity for the type of behavior causing the plaintiff's harm.

FACTS:

The assistant alleged that the principal of the elementary school where she worked subjected her to sexual harassment. Counsel for the assistant and her husband asked the principal at a deposition about any psychological and psychiatric illnesses she may have had as well as any related medical treatment. Counsel also asked about the principal's alleged anger management history. The diocese objected to the requests on the grounds that the information was irrelevant and privileged. However, the assistant and her husband argued that the information was discoverable because the diocese negligently hired and supervised an individual who was not fit to be a school principal as she had limited experience and emotional issues that presented a risk to the school's students and staff.

ISSUE:

In a motion to compel, does a party need to prove that information requested is relevant?

ANSWER:

Yes.

CONCLUSION:

In this case, any proof related to the anger management issues of Stobierski is not relevant to Favale’s claims denying the motion to compel. The motion by the administrative assistant and her husband to compel discovery was denied; the objection by the diocese to the motion to compel discovery was sustained, and the motion by the diocese for a protective order was granted.

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