Court rules new boyfriend can't sue over ex's knife attack
CONCORD — A man who was stabbed several times by a jealous ex-boyfriend cannot claim damages from a woman he claimed should have warned him about the potential assault, the state Supreme Court said Wednesday in a ruling upholding lower court rulings.
Kenneth England sued Maria Brianas, saying she should have warned him about her ex-boyfriend, Allen Bryson, when England and Brianas began dating in 2008. When England and Brianas went on a date Feb. 13, 2010, Bryson had broken into her home and was waiting for the couple. He stabbed England several times, according to the court’s ruling.
The court ruled that lower courts were correct in dismissing England’s suit because, while Bryson had angrily confronted Brianas and had left an angry message on her phone, Bryson had never been violent toward Brianas before, making her unaware that he was capable of acting violently. She also was not aware he had broken into her home that night, meaning she could not provide England with a warning, the court ruled.
In other rulings issued Wednesday, the court:
• ruled that a snowboarder is not entitled to damages for injuries she suffered when she collided with an off-duty snowboard instructor at Gunstock Mountain Resort.
The court ruled that Diana Camire, whose last name now is Martinez, erred in arguing that liability waivers on her lift ticket and on signs, as well as a state law saying collisions with other skiers is an inherent risk, do not apply when a collision is with an employee of a ski slope operator.
“If we were to conclude, as the plaintiff urges, that the Legislature intended to exclude collisions with ski area employees, we would, in effect, be rewriting the statute. This we decline to do,” Associate Justice Carol Ann Conboy wrote. “Thus, we hold that, based upon the plain language of the statute, the Legislature intended to include, as a category of inherent risk, collisions with ski area employees, regardless of whether they were working at the time of the collision”;
• upheld most of a lower court’s ruling that the state Department of Revenue Administration’s $235 million assessment of the Granite Reliable Power wind farm in Dixville and Millsfield was proper, despite the Coos County Commissioners granting a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement with the company based on early estimates by a state DRA official of about $113 million.
The court found that the commissioners erred, in part, because they did not consult another appraiser before entering into the PILOT agreement;
• and reversed a lower court’s ruling that the state Department of Health and Human Services properly denied three patients Medicaid-funded services from their chosen provider, Harbor Homes Inc. of Nashua. The case was brought following a Greater Nashua Mental Health Center decision in 2011 not to renew an interagency agreement with Harbor Homes to provide Medicaid-funded rehabilitative services.
The court ruled that DHHS’s reliance on a state rule requiring an interagency agreement, or IAA, to provide Medicaid-funded services was in violation of federal rules allowing patients freedom to choose any qualified provider.
“Here, the IAA requirement excludes Harbor Homes from Medicaid for a reason unrelated to its fitness to provide the requisite services,” Conboy wrote. “Accordingly, we conclude that the trial court erred in ruling that the IAA requirement does not violate the Medicaid Act’s free-choice-of-provider provision, and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.”