Shay v. Rossi

In Shay v. Rossi, 253 Conn. 134, 140, 749 A.2d 1147 (2000), the defendants raised the shield of sovereign immunity and the immunity of 4-165. The Court concluded that the facts alleged in that case did bring the state officials' behavior significantly outside the normal scope of their authority. 253 Conn. at 172. "If the defendants here acted solely in order to justify their own prior unjustified conduct, and not to carry out the government policy with which they were entrusted, there would be no reason to provide immunity from suit." 253 Conn. at 174. The Court specifically defined "wanton, reckless or malicious," as the terms are used in 4-165, to require a plaintiff to demonstrate "on the part of the defendants, the existence of a state of consciousness with reference to the consequences of one's acts . . . . In order to infer it, there must be something more than a failure to exercise a reasonable degree of watchfulness to avoid danger to others or to take reasonable precautions to avoid injury to them. . . . It is such conduct as indicates a reckless disregard of the just rights or safety of others or of the consequences of the action. . . . In sum, such conduct tends to take on the aspect of highly unreasonable conduct, involving an extreme departure from ordinary care, in a situation where a high degree of danger is apparent." Id., at 181.