Donna Maria Vetrano, et al. v. State of Tennessee

Annotate this Case
Court Description:

Authoring Judge: Judge W. Neal McBrayer

Trial Court Judge: Commissioner Robert N. Hibbett

Former inmate and her husband filed a complaint against the State of Tennessee, alleging that state employees negligently supervised and retained a prison guard who sexually assaulted the inmate. The Tennessee Claims Commission determined it lacked subject matter jurisdiction to hear the claim and dismissed the complaint. We conclude that the former inmate s claim falls within a category of claims for which the Claims Commission has exclusive jurisdiction, specifically the [n]egligent care, custody and control of persons. Tenn. Code Ann. 9-8-307 (Supp. 2016). We also conclude the complaint does not seek to hold the State liable for the willful, malicious, or criminal act of a state employee. Accordingly, we reverse.