This case bears on an ongoing debate regarding the constitutionality of Montana’s public duty doctrine. Plaintiff Robert Bassett (Bassett) sued Defendants Billings City Police Officer Paul Lamantia (Lamantia) and City of Billings (City) after Lamantia mistook Bassett for a fleeing suspect, tackled him to the ground, and tore his rotator cuff. Defendants have asserted that they are shielded from liability by the public duty doctrine. In response, Bassett has asked this Court to create an exception to the doctrine when government defendants are the direct and sole cause of a plaintiff’s injury.
Rebecca Stursberg, Oral Argument Preview, Bassett v. Lamantia: Deciding the Scope or Viability of Montana’s Public Duty Doctrine, 78 Mont. L. Rev. Online 130, https://scholarship.law.umt.edu/mlr_online/vol78/iss1/14.