Jacob Braden, an adult with developmental disabilities, died as a result of injuries suffered while residing at an Arizona Integrated Residential and Educational Services (AIRES) facility. AIRES is a licensed private corporation that contracts with the Arizona Department of Economic Security's Division of Developmental Disabilities. Jacob's estate sued the State, alleging a statutory claim under the Adult Protective Services Act (APSA) for abuse and neglect. The trial court granted summary judgment for the State, finding it was not a proper defendant under Ariz. Rev. Stat. 46-455, which permits an action under APSA against a "person" or an "enterprise." The court of appeals reversed, concluding that the State was not exempt from liability under section 46-455. The Supreme Court vacated the court of appeals and affirmed the superior court after applying the rules of statutory construction to section 46-455, concluding that the State was not liable under APSA because the legislature did not intend to include the State in its expressly enumerated list of potential APSA defendants.
Posted in: Arizona Supreme Court, Business Law, Constitutional Law, Government & Administrative Law, Injury Law, Trusts & Estates