Ryan v. State

In Ryan v. State, 134 Ariz. 308, 656 P.2d 597 (Ariz. 1982), a 17-year-old inmate escaped from the Arizona Youth Center. After his escape, the youth robbed a convenience store and shot the proprietor at point-blank range with a shotgun. The victim sustained permanent and disabling injuries. That court determined that it would define the limitations of immunity as it pertains to the executive branch of government "on the basis of concrete, factual situations as they come before us." Id., at 600. In conclusion, it held that it would "endorse the use of governmental immunity as a defense only when its application is necessary to avoid a severe hampering of a governmental function or thwarting of established public policy. Otherwise, the state and its agents will be subject to the same tort law as private citizens." Id. Thus, summary judgment for the state defendants was reversed.