The principal issues in this case, which comes to us on certification from the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut pursuant
The District Court's certification order reveals the following relevant facts and procedural history. The plaintiff, Michael Perodeau, Sr., is employed by the named defendant, the city of Hartford (city), in its police department. He is a single parent. The individual defendants, Joseph Croughwell, Robert Casati, Paul Cherniak and James Blanchette, were at all relevant times, respectively, the chief, the deputy chief, a sergeant and a lieutenant in the Hartford police department.
The plaintiff was hired by the Hartford police department as a police officer in 1979. In 1989, he was promoted to detective in the narcotics division. In 1992,
The plaintiff claims that his transfer to the north police services area was in response to his alleged refusal to be available for callbacks.
In June, 1998, the plaintiff filed a complaint with the commission on human rights and opportunities against the city, Casati and Cherniak, alleging age and sex discrimination. In the present case, the plaintiff claims that Blanchette subsequently retaliated against him for filing the complaint by verbally disparaging him in front of other officers and by falsely accusing him of smoking in a photography laboratory at the police department. The plaintiff also claims that all of the defendants condoned or acquiesced in his wrongful treatment, refused to protect him from harassment and unlawful discipline, and refused to ascertain the true facts and to punish wrongdoers.
On April 30, 1999, the plaintiff filed a complaint in the District Court alleging violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983
We first consider whether § 46a-60 (a) (1) imposes liability on individual employees.
Whether § 46a-60 (a) (1) imposes liability on individual employees is a matter of statutory interpretation "over which this court's review is plenary.... In construing statutes, [o]ur fundamental objective is to ascertain and give effect to the apparent intent of the legislature.... In seeking to discern that intent, we look to the words of the statute itself, to the legislative history and circumstances surrounding its enactment, to the legislative policy it was designed to implement, and to its relationship to existing legislation and common
We begin our analysis with a review of the relevant statutory provisions. Section 46a-60 (a) (1) provides in relevant part that "[i]t shall be a discriminatory practice in violation of this section ... [f]or an employer, by himself or his agent, except in the case of a bona fide occupational qualification or need, to refuse to hire or employ or to bar or to discharge from employment any individual or to discriminate against him in compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment because of the individual's race, color, religious creed, age, sex, marital status, national origin, ancestry, present or past history of mental disorder, mental retardation, learning disability or physical disability, including, but not limited to blindness...." General Statutes § 46a-51 (10) provides that the term "`[e]mployer' includes the state and all political subdivisions thereof and means any person or employer with three or more persons in his employ...." General Statutes § 46a-51 (14) provides in relevant part that the term "`[p]erson' means one or more individuals...."
"In the construction of the statutes, words and phrases shall be construed according to the commonly approved usage of the language...." General Statutes § 1-1 (a). "To ascertain the commonly approved usage of a word, it is appropriate to look to the dictionary definition of the term." (Internal quotation marks omitted.) State v. Rivera, 250 Conn. 188, 200 n.12, 736 A.2d 790 (1999). The dictionary defines the word "employer" to mean "[o]ne who employs, esp. for wages or salary...." Webster's New International Dictionary (2d Ed.). It would defy common sense to conclude that the legislature intended in § 46a-51 (10) to change the common meaning of the word "employer" to include
We further note that the legislature recently amended § 46a-51 (10) by substituting the phrase "person's or employer's" for the word "his," so that, effective October 1, 2001, that section provides: "`Employer' includes the state and all political subdivisions thereof and means any person or employer with three or more persons in such person's or employer's employ...." (Emphasis added.) Public Acts 2001, No. 01-28, § 1. The legislative history is silent on the reason for this change, but we reasonably may assume that it was made to render the language of the statute gender neutral, and not to change the scope of the statute. In light of this fact, it appears that the legislature intended the term "his" in the prior version of the statute to mean "person's or employer's." Accordingly, we conclude that the phrase "with three or more persons in his employ" in § 46a-51 (10) was intended to modify both "person" and "employer" and, consequently, that § 46a-60 (a) (1) does not impose liability on individual employees.
In support of our conclusion, we note that when the legislature has intended for the provisions of the Fair Employment Practices Act to apply to persons other
The weight of federal authority further bolsters our conclusion that individuals who are not employers may not be held liable under § 46a-60 (a) (1). This court previously has recognized that in construing the Fair Employment Practices Act "we are properly guided by the case law surrounding federal fair employment legislation...." (Citation omitted; internal quotation marks omitted.) Bridgeport Hospital v. Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities, 232 Conn. 91, 108, 653 A.2d 782 (1995). The majority of the United States Circuit Courts of Appeals that have considered the issue, including the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, have concluded that 42 U.S.C. § 2000e (b), which defines "employer" as "a person engaged in an industry affecting commerce who has fifteen or more employees ... and any agent of such a person," does not provide for individual liability. See Dici v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 91 F.3d 542, 552 (3d Cir. 1996);
In Tomka v. Seiler Corp., supra, 66 F.3d 1314, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected the plaintiffs argument that individual employees who are agents of an employer may be held individually liable, concluding that it was "inconceivable that a Congress concerned with protecting small employers would simultaneously allow civil liability to run against individual employees." (Internal quotation marks omitted.) Id., citing Miller v. Maxwell's International, Inc., supra, 991 F.2d 587 n.2; see Haynes v. Williams, supra, 88 F.3d 901
In Murphy v. Burgess, United States District Court, Docket No. 3:96CV01987 (D. Conn. July 16, 1997), however, the court distinguished § 46a-60 (a) (1) from the federal statute. Specifically, the court concluded that, because the federal statute applies to employers with fifteen or more employees, while § 46a-60 (a) (1) applies to employers with three or more employees, the inconsistency, noted in Tomka, between protecting small employers while allowing individual employees to be sued, did not arise under the Connecticut statute.
We recognize that the ambiguity in the federal statute arises from the phrase "and any agent of such a person"; 42 U.S.C. § 2000e (b); and not from any analog to the phrase "person or employer" in § 46a-51 (10), on which the plaintiff in this case exclusively relies.
Our review of case law from other jurisdictions construing state statutes similar to § 46a-51 (10)
The court in Reno also noted that the California Court of Appeal previously had rejected the "chamber of horrors" argument that barring individual liability would "open the floodgates of discrimination, would give supervisors a free pass to discriminate, would liberate supervisors to discriminate with impunity, and the like." (Internal quotation marks omitted.) Id., 654, quoting Janken v. GM Hughes Electronics, supra, 46 Cal.App.4th 76. That argument was also rejected in Lenhardt v. Basic Institute of Technology, Inc., supra, 55 F.3d 381.
For all of these reasons, we conclude that § 46a-60a (a) (1) does not impose liability on individual employees. Accordingly, we answer the first certified question in the negative.
We next consider whether an individual municipal employee may be found liable for negligent infliction of emotional distress arising out of actions or omissions occurring within the context of a continuing employment relationship, as distinguished from actions or omissions occurring in the termination of employment. We decline to extend that tort so far.
Before addressing the merits of this question, however, we must consider a threshold question, namely, whether, in excluding emotional distress claims that do not arise from physical injury or occupational disease from the compensability provisions of General Statutes
We first note that § 31-293a provides that the act applies only "[i]f an employee ... has a right to benefits or compensation under this chapter on account of injury...." In this case, the plaintiff has no right to compensation for his alleged emotional injury under the act. See General Statutes § 31-275 (16) (B) (ii).
We also note that, although this court previously has not considered directly the question of whether an employee may bring a common-law tort claim for an emotional injury arising out of his employment that is not covered by the act, we addressed it indirectly in Driscoll v. General Nutrition Corp., 252 Conn. 215, 752 A.2d 1069
In addition, the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut has concluded in a number of cases that tort actions for emotional injuries that are not compensable under the act are not barred by the exclusivity provisions of the act. See Abate v. Circuit-Wise, Inc., 130 F. Sup.2d 341, 345-46 (D. Conn. 2001) (claim for emotional injuries that did not arise from physical touchings not barred by act); Bimler v. Stop & Shop Supermarket Co., 965 F. Sup. 292, 302 (D. Conn. 1997) (claim for damages for emotional distress arising out of termination of employment not barred by act); Bennett v. Beiersdorf, Inc., 889 F. Sup. 46, 51 (D. Conn. 1995) (dismissing negligent infliction of emotional distress claim without prejudice to plaintiff to replead so as to exclude injuries for which act provides remedy); but see Gregory v. Southern New England Telephone Co., 896 F. Sup. 78, 84 (D. Conn. 1994) (claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress is precluded by act); Vorvis v. Southern New England Telephone Co., 821 F. Sup. 851, 856 (D. Conn. 1993) (same). Likewise, a number of Connecticut courts have determined that tort actions for noncompensable emotional injuries are not barred by the act. See Karanda v. Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, Superior Court, judicial district of Hartford, Docket No. CV 98582025S (May 10, 1999) (24 Conn. L. Rptr. 521) (employee may bring common-law tort action
In Stepney v. Devereux Foundation, supra, 14 Conn. L. Rptr. 485, the trial court reasoned that "[t]he Workers' Compensation Act compromises an employee's right to a common-law tort action for work-related injuries in return for relatively quick and certain compensation.... When an injury is expressly excluded from coverage under the act, the employe[e]'s right to pursue a common-law remedy for the injury is no longer compromised. The exclusivity provided by the workers' compensation statute is a quid pro quo, and a right of action should only be deemed taken away from an employee where something of value has been put in its place." (Citation omitted.) We agree with this reasoning. Accordingly, we conclude that the act itself does not preclude the plaintiff from bringing a common-law tort claim against the individual defendants for negligent infliction of emotional distress.
We now consider the merits of the second certified question, namely, whether individual municipal employee
We begin our analysis with a review of our case law pertaining to claims of negligent infliction of emotional distress in the employment context. In Montinieri v. Southern New England Telephone Co., 175 Conn. 337, 345, 398 A.2d 1180 (1978), this court recognized for the first time that "recovery for unintentionally-caused emotional distress does not depend on proof of either an ensuing physical injury or a risk of harm from physical impact." We concluded, rather, that, in such cases, "the defendant would not be liable unless the defendant should have realized that its conduct involved an unreasonable risk of causing emotional distress and that that distress, if it were caused, might result in illness or bodily harm."
In Morris v. Hartford Courant Co., 200 Conn. 676, 513 A.2d 66 (1986), we considered the plaintiff's claim that he had been wrongfully discharged and that the discharge constituted negligent infliction of emotional distress. We concluded that the discharge did not violate
In Parsons v. United Technologies Corp., 243 Conn. 66, 700 A.2d 655 (1997), we again considered claims of wrongful discharge and negligent infliction of emotional distress. In that case, we concluded that the plaintiff had made out a prima facie case of wrongful discharge; id., 86-87; but, relying on Morris, we also concluded that "negligent infliction of emotional distress in the employment context arises only where it is `based upon unreasonable conduct of the defendant in the termination process.'" Id., 88. Accordingly, we concluded that "[t]he mere termination of employment, even where it is wrongful, is therefore not, by itself, enough to sustain a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress. The mere act of firing an employee, even if wrongfully motivated, does not transgress the bounds of socially tolerable behavior." (Internal quotation marks omitted.) Id., 88-89. We found that "the actions that the defendant took in terminating the employment of the plaintiff, as alleged in his complaint, were not so unreasonable as to support a cause of action for negligent infliction of emotional distress." Id., 89. Thus, Parsons stands for the proposition that a wrongful termination is not, in and of itself, a sufficient basis for a claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress.
The defendants concede that neither Morris nor Parsons stands for the proposition that a termination is a prerequisite for an employment-related negligent infliction of emotional distress claim, but, relying in part on a number of cases that have imposed that limitation, they urge this court to adopt that bright line rule in this case. Accordingly, we turn to a review of the cases that have considered this issue.
In Malik v. Carrier Corp., 202 F.3d 97, 103-104 n.1 (2d Cir. 2000), the Second Circuit Court of Appeals concluded in dicta that, after Morris and Parsons, "[w]hether a viable emotional distress claim for negligent acts in the employment context exists under Connecticut law is ... unclear." The court noted in Malik
In Abate v. Circuit-Wise, Inc., supra, 130 F. Sup.2d 346-47, the court acknowledged the decision in Malik, but, relying on Parsons, concluded that, as a matter of law, "a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress in the employment context arises only when it is based on unreasonable conduct of the defendant in the termination process...." Id., 346. Because the plaintiff had not been terminated, the court dismissed the claim. In reaching its conclusion, the court in Abate relied on, inter alia, Gomez-Gil v. University of Hartford, 63 F. Sup.2d 191, 194 (D. Conn. 1999) (granting motion for summary judgment on claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress in employment context because no termination of employment), Williams v. H.N.S. Management Co., 56 F. Sup.2d 215, 221 (D. Conn. 1999) (same), and White v. Martin, 23 F. Sup.2d 203, 208 (D. Conn. 1998) (dismissing claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress because no termination of employment), aff d sub nom. White v. Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities, 198 F.3d 235 (2d Cir. 1999). Abate v. Circuit-Wise, Inc., supra, 346; see
"Duty is a legal conclusion about relationships between individuals, made after the fact, and imperative to a negligence cause of action. The nature of the duty, and the specific persons to whom it is owed, are determined by the circumstances surrounding the conduct of the individual. 2 D. Pope, Connecticut Actions and Remedies, Tort Law (1993) § 25:05, p. 25-7. Although it has been said that no universal test for [duty] ever has been formulated; W. Prosser & W. Keeton, [Torts (5th Ed. 1984)] § 53, p. 358; our threshold inquiry has always been whether the specific harm alleged by the plaintiff was foreseeable to the defendant. The ultimate test of the existence of the duty to use care is found in the foreseeability that harm may result if it is not exercised." (Internal quotation marks omitted.) Jaworski v. Kiernan, 241 Conn. 399, 405, 696 A.2d 332 (1997). In negligent infliction of emotional distress claims, unlike general negligence claims, the foreseeability of the precise "nature of the harm to be anticipated [is] a prerequisite to recovery even where a breach of duty might otherwise be found...." Maloney v. Conroy, 208 Conn. 392, 398, 545 A.2d 1059 (1988).
We concluded in Morris and Parsons that a termination may give rise to a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress if the conduct under review
The defendants contend, however, that individuals engaged in an ongoing employment relationship have no such duty because variations in individual sensitivity make emotional distress claims arising in that context unforeseeable. Specifically, the defendants claim that "a well-meaning reprimand inflicts no emotional injury on one employee, but wounds another employee to the quick. Or, to take another scenario, a supervisor who places a great deal of pressure on his supervisees to meet deadlines may be met with stoic endurance by the thick-skinned, but hurt feelings by the more delicate." We have no quarrel with the defendants' factual premise that individual sensitivities vary, but we reject their legal conclusion. An individual making an emotional distress claim must show that a reasonable person would have suffered "emotional distress ... that... might result in illness or bodily harm"; Montinieri v. Southern New England, Telephone Co., supra, 175 Conn. 345; as the result of the defendant's conduct. See 3 F. Harper, F. James, & O. Gray, Torts (2d Ed. 1986) § 18.4, p. 691 ("Generally defendant's standard of conduct is measured by the [emotional] reactions to be expected of normal persons.... Activity may be geared to a workaday world rather than to the hypersensitive."). We cannot conclude that it is more difficult to foresee the emotional reactions of reasonable persons to wrongful conduct in the workplace than in other contexts. Consequently, emotional distress can be a
"A simple conclusion that the harm to the plaintiff was foreseeable, however, cannot by itself mandate a determination that a legal duty exists. Many harms are quite literally foreseeable, yet for pragmatic reasons, no recovery is allowed. See, e.g., Maloney v. Conroy, [supra, 208 Conn. 400-401] (looking beyond foreseeability, this court imposed limitations on the right of a bystander to recover for emotional distress that allegedly resulted from medical malpractice of doctors in their treatment of the plaintiffs ... mother). A further inquiry must be made, for we recognize that duty is not sacrosanct in itself, but is only an expression of the sum total of those considerations of policy which lead the law to say that the plaintiff is entitled to protection. W. Prosser & W. Keeton, supra, § 53, p. 358. While it may seem that there should be a remedy for every wrong, this is an ideal limited perforce by the realities of this world. Every injury has ramifying consequences, like the ripplings of the waters, without end. The problem for the law is to limit the legal consequences of wrongs to a controllable degree.... The final step in the duty inquiry, then, is to make a determination of the fundamental policy of the law, as to whether the defendant's responsibility should extend to such results." (Citation omitted; internal quotation marks omitted.) Jaworski v. Kiernan, supra, 241 Conn. 406; see also Zamstein v. Marvasti, 240 Conn. 549, 558, 692 A.2d 781 (1997) (test for existence of legal duty of care includes "a determination, on the basis of a public policy analysis, of whether the defendant's responsibility for its negligent conduct should extend to the particular consequences or particular plaintiff').
In Jaworski, this court recognized four factors to be considered in determining the extent of a legal duty as a matter of policy: (1) the normal expectations of the
We first consider the normal expectations of individuals in the context of an ongoing employment relationship. It is clear that such individuals reasonably should expect to be subject to routine employment-related conduct, including performance evaluations, both formal and informal; decisions related to such evaluations, such as those involving transfer, demotion, promotion and compensation; similar decisions based on the employer's business needs and desires, independent of the employee's performance; and disciplinary or investigatory action arising from actual or alleged employee misconduct. In addition, such individuals reasonably should expect to be subject to other vicissitudes of employment, such as workplace gossip, rivalry, personality conflicts and the like.
Thus, it is clear that individuals in the workplace reasonably should expect to experience some level of emotional distress, even significant emotional distress, as a result of conduct in the workplace. There are few things more central to a person's life than a job, and the mere fact of being demoted or denied advancement may be extremely distressing. That is simply an unavoidable part of being employed. We recognize, however, that that does not mean that persons in the workplace should expect to be subject to conduct that "transgress[es] the bounds of socially tolerable behavior"; (internal quotation marks omitted) Parsons v. United Technologies Corp., supra, 243 Conn. 89; and that involves "an unreasonable risk of causing emotional distress ... that ... if it were caused, might result in illness or bodily harm." Montinieri v. Southern
First, in an ongoing employment relationship, employees who fear lawsuits by fellow employees may be less competitive with each other, may promote the interests of their employer less vigorously, may refrain from reporting the improper or even illegal conduct of fellow employees, may be less frank in performance evaluations, and may make employment decisions such as demotions, promotions and transfers on the basis of fear of suit rather than business needs and desires. All of this conduct would contribute to a less vigorous and less productive workplace. We conclude that such a pervasive chilling effect outweighs the safety interest of employees in being protected from negligent infliction of emotional distress. In cases involving a termination of employment, on the other hand, the employee can no longer use the threat of a lawsuit to influence the conduct of his employer and fellow employees.
Second, in light of the inherently competitive and stressful nature of the workplace and the difficulties surrounding proof of emotional distress, extending the tort of negligent infliction of emotional distress to ongoing employment relationships would open the door to spurious claims. We recognize that the line that we draw in the present case is somewhat arbitrary. This court previously has been willing to draw lines limiting liability, however, when "[t]here are fears of flooding the courts with spurious and fraudulent claims; problems of proof of the damage suffered; exposing [potential defendants] to an endless number of claims; and economic burdens on industry." (Internal quotation
With respect to the fourth Jaworski factor, the case law of our sister states, the approaches of the various jurisdictions may be divided into four general categories: (1) jurisdictions that categorically do not recognize the tort of negligent infliction of emotional distress;
We conclude, therefore, that an individual municipal employee may not be found liable for negligent infliction of emotional distress arising out of conduct occurring within a continuing employment context, as
Both certified questions are answered: "No."
No costs will be taxed in this court to any party to this action.
In this opinion KATZ and PALMER, Js., concurred.
SULLIVAN, C. J., concurring in part and dissenting in part. I concur with parts I and II A of the majority opinion. I respectfully disagree, however, with the majority's conclusion in part II B that individual employees may not be held liable for negligent infliction of emotional distress claims arising in the context of ongoing employment.
The majority, citing "`fears of flooding the courts with "spurious and fraudulent claims"; problems of proof of the damage suffered; exposing [potential defendants] to an endless number of claims; and economic burdens on industry'"; Clohessy v. Bachelor, 237 Conn. 31, 50, 675 A.2d 852 (1996); concludes that the cause of action recognized by this court in Montinieri v. Southern New England Telephone Co., 175 Conn. 337, 398 A.2d 1180 (1978), is not cognizable in the context of ongoing employment. I would conclude that, for all of these policy reasons, this court's decision in Montinieri, in which we upheld a jury instruction by the trial court that expanded the preexisting standard for negligent infliction of emotional distress claims to include claims in which the plaintiff has not alleged a resulting bodily injury or illness or a risk of harm from physical impact; id., 345; was misguided. The policy concerns cited by the majority arise in many contexts other than the context of ongoing employment. It is clear to me, for example, that the daily activities of doctors, police officers and teachers are no less chilled
Recognizing, however, that the majority is not disposed to reconsider Montinieri in this case, as I am, I believe that the distinction drawn by the majority between negligent infliction of emotional distress claims involving a termination of employment and claims arising in an ongoing employment context is arbitrary. The majority concludes that the interest of workers in being protected from negligent infliction of emotional distress is outweighed by other public policy considerations. In my view, however, the same public policy considerations that arise in an ongoing employment context arise in the context of an employment termination. An employer who wishes to terminate an inept employee is faced with the same risk of a spurious lawsuit as an employer who wishes to reprimand an inept employee. Accordingly, I cannot perceive any principle on which to make the distinction made by the majority.
Indeed, I do not believe that this issue ever would have arisen in the District Court if not for the mere fortuity that a number of other courts simply have misinterpreted our statement in Parsons v. United Technologies Corp., 243 Conn. 66, 88, 700 A.2d 655 (1997), that "negligent infliction of emotional distress in the employment context arises only where it is `based upon unreasonable conduct of the defendant in the termination process'" to mean that a termination is a condition precedent to a claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress in the workplace. As I already have indicated, I can perceive no reason to adopt that misreading in this case. Although the decision of the majority may reduce the number of claims brought under Montinieri, I do not believe that it will reduce the percentage of spurious claims.
I would conclude that the cause of action recognized by this court in Montinieri is cognizable both in the context of ongoing employment and in cases involving termination of employment. Accordingly, I respectfully dissent.
NORCOTT, J., concurring and dissenting. I concur with parts I and II A of the majority opinion. I also join,
"(1) For an employer, by himself or his agent, except in the case of a bona fide occupational qualification or need, to refuse to hire or employ or to bar or to discharge from employment any individual or to discriminate against him in compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment because of the individual's race, color, religious creed, age, sex, marital status, national origin, ancestry, present or past history of mental disorder, mental retardation, learning disability or physical disability, including, but not limited to, blindness...."
"It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer—
"(1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or
"(2) to limit, segregate, or classify his employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin...."
"(4) For any person, employer, labor organization or employment agency to discharge, expel or otherwise discriminate against any person because he has opposed any discriminatory employment practice or because he has filed a complaint or testified or assisted in any proceeding under section 46a-82, 46a-83 or 46a-84;
"(5) For any person, whether an employer or an employee or not, to aid, abet, incite, compel or coerce the doing of any act declared to be a discriminatory employment practice or to attempt to do so;
"(6) For any person, employer, employment agency or labor organization, except in the case of a bona fide occupational qualification or need, to advertise employment opportunities in such a manner as to restrict such employment so as to discriminate against individuals because of their race, color, religious creed, age, sex, marital status, national origin, ancestry, present or past history of mental disorder, mental retardation, learning disability or physical disability, including, but not limited to, blindness....
General Statutes § 31-293a provides in relevant part: "If an employee or, in case of his death, his dependent has a right to benefits or compensation under this chapter on account of injury or death from injury caused by the negligence or wrong of a fellow employee, such right shall be the exclusive remedy of such injured employee or dependent and no action may be brought against such fellow employee unless such wrong was wilful or malicious or the action is based on the fellow employee's negligence in the operation of a motor vehicle as defined in section 14-1...."
"(ii) A mental or emotional impairment, unless such impairment arises from a physical injury or occupational disease...."
General Statutes § 7-465 provides in relevant part: "(a) Any town, city or borough, notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law, general, special or local, shall pay on behalf of any employee of such municipality, except firemen covered under the provisions of section 7-308, and on behalf of any member from such municipality of a local emergency planning district, appointed pursuant to section 22a-601, all sums which such employee becomes obligated to pay by reason of the liability imposed upon such employee by law for damages awarded for infringement of any person's civil rights or for physical damages to person or property, except as hereinafter set forth, if the employee, at the time of the occurrence, accident, physical injury or damages complained of, was acting in the performance of his duties and within the scope of his employment, and if such occurrence, accident, physical injury or damage was not the result of any wilful or wanton act of such employee in the discharge of such duty. This section shall not apply to physical injury to a person caused by an employee to a fellow employee while both employees are engaged in the scope of their employment for such municipality if the employee suffering such injury or, in the case of his death, his dependent, has a right to benefits or compensation under chapter 568 by reason of such injury. If an employee or, in the case of his death, his dependent, has a right to benefits or compensation under chapter 568 by reason of injury or death caused by the negligence or wrong of a fellow employee while both employees are engaged in the scope of their employment for such municipality, such employee or, in the case of his death, his dependent, shall have no cause of action against such fellow employee to recover damages for such injury or death unless such wrong was wilful and malicious or the action is based on the fellow employee's negligence in the operation of a motor vehicle as defined in section 14-1....."