Plaintiffs sought damages from the State of Washington for property destroyed by a juvenile escapee from Green Hill School, who set fire to a church and adjoining house. Plaintiffs alleged, inter alia, that the state was negligent in maintaining an "open program" in a "close security" institution, and in assigning the juvenile, regarded as a security risk, to the "open program."' Plaintiffs relied on a recent statute purportedly abolishing state immunity from liability for torts committed by officials, whether acting in a "governmental" or "proprietary" capacity. The trial court entered judgment on a verdict for plaintiffs. On appeal, the Washington Supreme Court, sitting en banc, reversed in a 7-2 decision. Held: The statute abolishing governmental immunity does not apply to discretionary acts of officials charged with implementing state policy; such acts are immune from judicial scrutiny as to possible negligence. Evangelical United Brethren Church v. State, 67 Wash. Dec. 2d 243,407 P.2d 440 (1965).
Annual Survey of Washington Law,
Discretionary Acts Protected by Governmental Immunity,
Wash. L. & Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/wlr/vol41/iss3/17