Bartlett LLP Thwarts Plaintiff’s Attempts to Expand Group Home’s Duty, Six-Figure Damages Claim Dismissed

Plaintiff moved to add as direct plaintiffs the parents of a child, who was allegedly mistreated by a group home.  The parents claimed emotional distress and significant expenses associated with visiting their son, who relocated to a group home nearly 3 hours away from their home.

Our motion to dismiss these claims argued that plaintiff failed to establish any  duty on the part of the group home to the parents, relying upon Johnson v Jamaica Hosp., 62 NY2d 523 [1984] and Williams v Long Is. Coll. Hosp., 83 AD3d 826 [2d Dept 2011].  The Supreme Court, Suffolk County adopted our position—i.e., that no duty to the parents existed in relation to injury caused to their child—and denied plaintiff’s motion to add their emotional distress claim. In addition, the Court dismissed plaintiff’s improper claims for the parent’s expenses, e.g., hotel rooms, house rentals, and ultimately, the purchase of a home, which totaled hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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