Kanagawa v. State By and Through Freeman, No. 66069

CourtMissouri Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtWELLIVER
Citation685 S.W.2d 831
Decision Date26 February 1985
Docket NumberNo. 66069
PartiesLinda KANAGAWA, Appellant, v. The STATE of Missouri, By and Through its officers, David R. FREEMAN, in his official capacity as the former Director of Missouri Department of Social Services; Donald Jenkins, in his official capacity as the former Director of Missouri Department of Corrections; and Norris Williams, in his official capacity as the former Superintendent of the Central Missouri Correctional Center, Respondents.

Page 831

685 S.W.2d 831
Linda KANAGAWA, Appellant,
v.
The STATE of Missouri, By and Through its officers, David R.
FREEMAN, in his official capacity as the former Director of
Missouri Department of Social Services; Donald Jenkins, in
his official capacity as the former Director of Missouri
Department of Corrections; and Norris Williams, in his
official capacity as the former Superintendent of the
Central Missouri Correctional Center, Respondents.
No. 66069.
Supreme Court of Missouri,
En Banc.
Feb. 26, 1985.

Page 832

Lori J. Levine, Cullen Coil, Jefferson City, for appellant.

John Ashcroft, Atty. Gen., Mike Boicourt, Steven W. Garrett, Asst. Atty. Gen., Jefferson City, for respondents.

Page 833

WELLIVER, Judge.

Appellant appeals from an order of the Circuit Court of Boone County sustaining a motion to dismiss her two count petition for personal injuries suffered when she was kidnapped, assaulted and raped by an escaped inmate of the Central Missouri Correctional Center in Jefferson City. Count I of the first amended petition names as defendant the State of Missouri. Count II names several individuals in their official capacities, including David R. Freeman, the Director of the Missouri Department of Social Services, Donald Jenkins, the Director of the Missouri Division of Corrections, and Norris Williams, the Superintendent of the Central Missouri Correctional Center. 1 The Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, affirmed as to Count I, but reversed the dismissal of Count II and remanded the cause for further proceedings to determine the liability of the named individuals. One judge dissented and transferred the cause to this Court on the ground that the majority opinion conflicted with prior appellate decisions in this state. Rule 83.01. We now decide the cause as though on original appeal to this Court. Rule 83.09. We affirm the judgment of the circuit court.

The amended petition charges respondents with negligence in the following respects:

4. On or about July 25, 1979, Steven Foerstel, a person with a history of having committed various sexual crimes and who was a convicted rapist, was permitted to escape from the [Central Missouri Correctional Center] ... as the direct result of defendant Freeman's negligent supervision of his employees and of defendants' Jenkins and Williams negligence in performing their ministerial duties while acting for the State of Missouri, in the following respects:

They and each of them knew or in the exercise of commensurate care should have known that: Foerstel had been transferred from the main penitentiary in Jefferson City to the Central Missouri Correctional Center; that he was a convicted rapist and had a record of having committed numerous sexual crimes; that the fences surrounding the Central Missouri Correctional Center were inadequate to confine one within those fences who desired to get out; that the gate or gate-house was manned by a female employee who was physically incapable of stopping or interfering with the escape of a person of Foerstel's background, character, and size; the the [sic] gates were not properly locked or secured; that an attempt by Foerstel to escape from the Central Missouri Correctional Center was reasonably foreseeable by defendants.

5. Defendants failed to exercise ordinary care in the performance of their ministerial duties in that they failed and refused to adequately supervise their employees and insure that the prisoners were supervised.

6. The injuries hereinafter set forth suffered by plaintiff were caused by the above described conditions existing at the Central Missouri Correctional Center and the injuries to plaintiff directly resulted from such dangerous conditions which conditions created a reasonably foreseeable risk of harm of the kind of injuries and harm which were incurred by plaintiff and the conditions heretofore described gave or should have given the defendants actual or constructive notice of the existence of said dangerous conditions, in sufficient time prior to the injuries and harm to plaintiff to have enabled defendants to have taken appropriate measures to have protected plaintiff against the results brought about by said dangerous conditions.

7. As a direct result of defendants' negligence aforesaid plaintiff was held captive, raped and kidnapped by escapee

Page 834

Foerstel and her arms, back, limbs and shoulders were lacerated, bruised, contused, wrenched and torn.

Appellant prays for $100,000 in damages in each count.

Respondents moved to dismiss the amended petition contending that (1) the State was immune from suit by virtue of sovereign immunity; (2) the individual defendants were immune from suit by virtue of official immunity; and (3) the doctrine of respondent superior did not operate to hold public officials vicariously liable for the acts or omissions of subordinate employees. The circuit court sustained the motion to dismiss without explanation.

In reviewing the circuit court's dismissal of the amended petition, we must determine if the facts pleaded and the inferences reasonably drawn therefrom state any ground for relief. We treat the facts averred as true and construe all averments liberally and favorably to appellant. Detling v. Edelbrock, 671 S.W.2d 265, 267 (Mo. banc 1984); Shapiro v. Columbia Union National Bank & Trust Co. 576 S.W.2d 310, 312 (Mo. banc 1978), cert. denied, 444 U.S. 831, 100 S.Ct. 60, 62 L.Ed.2d 40 (1979).

I

The circuit court dismissed appellant's claim against the State of Missouri presumably after concluding that the State was protected from suit under the sovereign immunity statute. § 537.600, RSMo 1978. Appellant challenges that conclusion, contending that the amended petition states a claim falling within one of the two statutory exceptions to immunity. She relies on the provision waiving the State's immunity from liability and suit in cases involving:

Injuries caused by the condition of a public entity's property if the plaintiff establishes that the property was in dangerous condition at the time of the injury, that the injury directly resulted from the dangerous condition,...

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173 practice notes
  • Heins Implement Co. v. Missouri Highway & Transp. Com'n, No. 75313
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • August 17, 1993
    ...their authority from liability for injuries arising from their discretionary acts or omissions. Kanagawa v. State By and Through Freeman, 685 S.W.2d 831, 835 (Mo. banc 1985). This protection is extended in the hope of Page 695 promoting the effective administration of public affairs by remo......
  • Gordon ex rel. Gordon v. Ottumwa Community School, Civil No. 4-99-cv-30167.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States State District Court of Southern District of Iowa
    • August 23, 2000
    ...from liability for discretionary actions. Bolon v. Rolla Public Schools, 917 F.Supp. 1423, 1431 (E.D.Mo.1996) (quoting Kanagawa v. State, 685 S.W.2d 831, 835 (Mo.1985) (en banc)). Principals and school superintendents did not qualify as "public officials." S.B.L., 80 F.3d at 310; Bolon, 917......
  • Kwoun v. Southeast Missouri Professional Standards Review Organization, Nos. 85-2379
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • March 9, 1987
    ...is therefore immune under Missouri law from the common-law tort claims asserted against him. Kanagawa v. State by and through Freeman, 685 S.W.2d 831, 835 (Mo.1985) (en The analysis of absolute immunity from constitutional claims for these state defendants is the same as that applicable to ......
  • AGI-Bluff Manor, Inc. v. Reagen, No. 85-4015-CV-C-5.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Western District of Missouri
    • April 18, 1989
    ...arising from discretionary acts or omissions performed within the scope of their authority. Kanagawa v. State by and through Freeman, 685 S.W.2d 831, 835 (Mo.1985) (en banc). Public officers may be held liable only for torts committed when acting in a ministerial capacity. Id. A discretiona......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
173 cases
  • Heins Implement Co. v. Missouri Highway & Transp. Com'n, No. 75313
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • August 17, 1993
    ...their authority from liability for injuries arising from their discretionary acts or omissions. Kanagawa v. State By and Through Freeman, 685 S.W.2d 831, 835 (Mo. banc 1985). This protection is extended in the hope of Page 695 promoting the effective administration of public affairs by remo......
  • Gordon ex rel. Gordon v. Ottumwa Community School, Civil No. 4-99-cv-30167.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States State District Court of Southern District of Iowa
    • August 23, 2000
    ...from liability for discretionary actions. Bolon v. Rolla Public Schools, 917 F.Supp. 1423, 1431 (E.D.Mo.1996) (quoting Kanagawa v. State, 685 S.W.2d 831, 835 (Mo.1985) (en banc)). Principals and school superintendents did not qualify as "public officials." S.B.L., 80 F.3d at 310; Bolon, 917......
  • Kwoun v. Southeast Missouri Professional Standards Review Organization, Nos. 85-2379
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • March 9, 1987
    ...is therefore immune under Missouri law from the common-law tort claims asserted against him. Kanagawa v. State by and through Freeman, 685 S.W.2d 831, 835 (Mo.1985) (en The analysis of absolute immunity from constitutional claims for these state defendants is the same as that applicable to ......
  • AGI-Bluff Manor, Inc. v. Reagen, No. 85-4015-CV-C-5.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Western District of Missouri
    • April 18, 1989
    ...arising from discretionary acts or omissions performed within the scope of their authority. Kanagawa v. State by and through Freeman, 685 S.W.2d 831, 835 (Mo.1985) (en banc). Public officers may be held liable only for torts committed when acting in a ministerial capacity. Id. A discretiona......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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