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Coleson v. City of New York
New York Court of Appeals
24 N.Y.3d 476 (2014)
On June 24, 2004, Jandy Coleson (plaintiff) called the New York City Police Department (the department) (defendant) after her husband threatened to kill her. Coleson’s husband was arrested. An officer informed Coleson that her husband would be incarcerated, and that the department would offer her protection. Later that day, an officer called Coleson to inform her that her husband would be sentenced that evening and that the officer would contact her concerning any new developments. On June 26, Coleson was in public with her son when her husband began chasing her with a knife. An employee at a nearby car wash hid Coleson’s son in a closet for protection. Coleson was stabbed, but she survived. Coleson filed a negligence claim in New York Supreme Court against New York City and the department (collectively, the city) (defendants). Coleson also filed a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress on behalf of her son. The city moved for summary judgment on the ground that it did not owe Coleson an affirmative duty to protect her and that Coleson’s son had not witnessed the stabbing. The court granted the motion. Coleson appealed. The appellate division affirmed. The matter was appealed to the New York Court of Appeals.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Abdus-Salaam, J.)
Dissent (Pigott, J.)
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