Plaintiff and her late husband's estate allege that defendant, a Division of Child Protection and Permanency contractor, negligently placed a dangerous child in the therapeutic foster home that plaintiff and her husband operated, and failed to warn them of the child's history of dangerous behavior. During the fifteen months following his removal from the home for misbehavior, the child illegally returned three times, ultimately killing the husband during a burglary. Reversing summary judgment to defendant, the panel holds that defendant owed a duty to the foster parents to exercise reasonable care in placing the child in their home, and to reasonably disclose the child's background to enable them to make an informed decision whether to accept him. Whether defendant breached that duty, and particularly whether that breach proximately caused the harm that followed, are jury questions on the record presented when viewed in a light most favorable to plaintiffs.
Judge Sabatino filed a concurring opinion, suggesting the State might utilize stringent regulations, contractual provisions requiring notification, or other measures and policies to avoid future repetition of the fatal tragedy that occurred in this case.