Cronin v. State

In Cronin v. State, 148 Vt. 252, 531 A.2d 929 (1987), plaintiff state employee alleged that defendants, supervisory employees and the State, were negligent in disclosing confidential information that resulted in plaintiff's wife finding out that plaintiff was thought to be having an affair with another woman. Plaintiff grounded his negligence action on a personnel regulation that prohibited employees from disclosing certain confidential information. The Court did not examine whether the regulation created a rebuttable presumption of negligence, as plaintiffs argued in this case, or whether the regulation created a duty on which a negligence action could be premised. Instead, the Court analyzed the case as one in which plaintiff was seeking to create an implied private cause of action for violation of the statute, and finding that the Legislature intended no such private right of action, id. at 255, 531 A.2d at 931, the Court upheld dismissal of the relevant counts of the complaint. Id.