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Torts — governmental immunity

Wisconsin Court of Appeals


Torts — governmental immunity

On October 7, 2007, Tyler Peterson, an off-duty Forest County sheriff’s deputy, shot seven people, killing six and injuring Charles Neitzel, III. Neitzel and four of the other victims’ families (collectively, Neitzel) sued the County and its insurer, alleging the County negligently hired and supervised Peterson. The circuit court granted summary judgment dismissing Neitzel’s claims. The court concluded the County was immune from suit under Wis. Stat. § 893.80(4)[1] because its hiring and supervision of Peterson were discretionary acts.

Neitzel appeals. He concedes that the County’s actions were discretionary, but he argues the doctrine of governmental immunity for discretionary acts is “wrong as a matter of historical precedent” and “wrong as a matter of public policy.” (Capitalization omitted.) He urges us to “overturn” “this anachronistic doctrine.” However, we are bound by past supreme court decisions, which hold that, under Wis. Stat. § 893.80(4), governmental subdivisions are immune from liability for discretionary acts. We therefore affirm. Not recommended for publication in the official reports.

2010AP1617 Neitzel, et al. v. City of Crandon, et al.

Dist III, Forest County, Mangerson, J., Peterson, J.

Attorneys: For Appellant: Olson, James A., Madison; Gahnz, Dixon R., Madison; Murray, Ginger L., Madison; For Respondent: Bohl, Charles H., Milwaukee; Jones, Andrew A., Milwaukee

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