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Harris v. Q&A Associates, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia, Elkins

May 16, 2018

FRIEDRICH HARRIS, Administrator of the Estate of Evan M. Harris, Plaintiff,
v.
Q&A ASSOCIATES, INC., et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS&#3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">39; MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          JOHN PRESTON BAILEY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pending before this Court is the Defendants&#3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">39; Motion for Summary Judgment [Doc. 6');">67], filed March 7, 2018. The matter is now fully briefed and ripe for review.

         BACKGROUND

         On January 24, 2016');">6, Evan Harris ("Evan") committed suicide while participating in Q&A Associates, Inc.&#3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">39;s ("Q&A") "troubled teen" program, The Journey WV ("Journey") [Id., ¶¶ 15-94]. Prior to his untimely death, the evidence presented demonstrates that Evan was a deeply troubled young man who, as of August 18, 2015, had eight different diagnoses, including Bipolar I Disorder and Depression [Doc. 6');">6');">26');">6');">6');">6');">26');">6-1, ¶ 11]. These diagnoses accumulated at an early age, and worsened as he grew older. Evan&#3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">39;s parents ("the Harrises") placed him in a variety of programs and special learning schools throughout his life before his placement at Journey. Evan&#3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">39;s records reflect consistent issues with planning, memory, emotional regulation, anger, and self-destructive episodes. As a result of his issues with anger and emotional regulation, Evan would be hospitalized for mental health issues multiple times, including once after an instance of violence towards his father.

         Evan was enrolled in and eventually graduated from a high school that specialized in special education, the Bachman Academy. Evan was suspended multiple times for fighting with other students and disrespecting adults [Doc. 6');">6');">26');">6');">6');">6');">26');">6, p. 4]. His course work at the Academy was directed towards preparing him for independent living, including classes in math, woodworking, and mechanics. During the summer of 2009, Evan would be hospitalized after his parents discovered he was engaging self-harm behaviors. After his discharge, Evan was sent to another residential treatment program, the Meridell Achievement Center, where he was prescribed lithium to treat manic depression and bipolar syndrome. This appeared to bring an end to or at least curb his fits of rage.

         Evan eventually graduated from the Bachman Academy and returned home to live with his parents for three years, but it became clear to his family over this time that he did not have the ability or skills to live independently and it was not feasible for him to continue to live at home [Doc. 6');">6');">26');">6');">6');">6');">26');">6-4]. Evan undertook several part-time or volunteer jobs over this period, none of which were successful. For example, Evan briefly worked at Rouses, a local grocery store, but was fired after he "started testing the edges" of what he could and could not do at work, and a staffing change resulted in a new boss who was less forgiving of the work-related things that Evan did not do [Doc. 6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61, p. 25');">p. 25]. Evan&#3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">39;s parents noted that many of their son&#3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">39;s experiences at jobs and programs followed a general pattern-he "[d]id great initially, listened to everybody, was very respectful. Did everything they asked . .. [a]nd then he started to find out what he could get away with and what he didn&#3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">39;t need to do." [Doc. 6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61, p. 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">30].

         After Evan had lived at home for three years, his parents concluded that he needed full-time, specialized treatment, and consulted with a psychiatrist, Dr. Paul Pelts ("Dr. Pelts") and an educational consultant, Christie Woodfin ("Ms. Woodfin"). In February of 2015, the Harrises enrolled Evan in the Waterfall Canyon Academy [Doc. 6');">6');">26');">6');">6');">6');">26');">6-3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3].

         Evan did well in this program for several months, and began to develop independent living skills-he could cook for himself, do his own laundry, began attending a course at an applied technology school, and maintained a horticultural job at Weber State [Doc. 6');">6');">26');">6');">6');">6');">26');">6, pp. 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3-4]. His success at the program did not last long. Once Evan was able to access the money he earned from his job he used it to buy alcohol, and also began to clash with others at the program. In July of 2015, Evan began to cut himself when "he was upset that he was not able to identify or meet his birth parents" [Doc. 6');">6');">26');">6');">6');">6');">26');">6, p. 5]. Eventually, in August of 2015, the head supervisor at Waterfall Canyon told Evan&#3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">39;s parents that he could no longer control Evan, Evan did not listen anymore, Evan was becoming destructive, and he was irritating the other residents in the program [Doc. 6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61, 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">32');">p. 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">32].

         In August of 2015, Evan&#3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">39;s parents made arrangements for Evan to go to another program, Aspiro, and arranged for him to stay in a motel until then [Doc. 6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61, 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">32');">p. 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">32]. Evan, with help of some people he met online, sold his possessions and used the money to buy a bus ticket to Louisiana. Evan, with the help of a kind stranger, made it to Louisiana safely, and stayed at a motel near his home for one week until he was taken to Aspiro, an outdoor therapeutic program with heavy mentoring [Doc. 6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61');">6');">61, 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">34');">p. 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">34]. There, Evan lived outside with six peers and hiked, rock climbed, cooked, and worked to develop social skills.

         Due to Evan&#3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">39;s success in the Aspiro program, his parents, after consultation, decided to transfer him to a program that focused on developing skills to live independently, under heavy mentorship and supervision-Journey. Evan&#3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">39;s mother filled out portions of the intake paperwork, and noted that Evan had issues related to his adoptive parents, had previously engaged in cutting behaviors, became very homesick and wanted to return to Louisiana once he could live independently, and suffered from a host of psychological issues that required medication, including depression and bipolar I [Doc. 40-11].

         Evan was required to provide a copy of his latest psychological evaluation to Journey prior to admission. The evaluation from Dr. Kevin Fenstermacher ("Dr. Fenstermacher"), a licensed psychologist, included a series of specific recommendations that emphasized the importance of familial support and connections with others to Evan&#3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">39;s health. Dr. Fenstermacher noted that "his parents remain connected to Evan and are an important source of support for him, " and that "interventions should be targeted at helping Mr. and Mrs. Harris&#3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">39; [sic] negotiate Evan&#3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">39;s ambivalent push-pull developmental process as he works to gain confidence in his ability to function[] independently while simultaneously managing his fear of separating from his parents (and possibly losing them in the process)." [Doc. 40-6');">6, p. 22');">p. 22]. In a similar vein, the report also recommends addressing the adoption-related issues from which Evan was clearly suffering [Doc. 40-6');">6, p. 21');">p. 21].

         At Journey, records reflect that Evan&#3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">39;s progress and demeanor were inconsistent. He struggled to maintain relationships with his peers, continued to abuse alcohol, engaged in self-harming behaviors, and left the program site multiple times. Evan appears to have discussed most of these issues, at least superficially, with Jennifer Randall ("Randall") the local counselor that worked with Journey. Throughout his time in the program, Evan consistently expressed a desire to return to the Waterfall program [Doc. 70-3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3, p1');">p. 19, 51, 6');">68, 70]. On January 14, 2016');">6, Angela Shockley ("Ms. Shockley") told Evan that Waterfall was not an option, and "if that was going to work, it already would have." [Doc. 70-3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3, 1');">p. 14');">1');">p. 14]. Evan also indicated to multiple individuals that he was or had engaged in self-harming behaviors and expressed suicidal ideation [Doc. 70-3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3, pp. 24, 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">30, 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">32, 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">34, 6');">60; Doc. 70-9]. Evan was also involved in a number of conflicts with the other program participants, and does not appear to have made significant connections [Doc. 70-3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3, pp. 21');">p. 21, 22, 23');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3, 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">30, 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">31, 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">32, 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">37, 42, 56');">6, 57]. During his time in the program, Evan became involved with another program participant, referred to as "DF, " and wanted to be in a romantic relationship with her-the romantic relationship appeared to be a source of distress for Evan, and appears to have come to an end by at least January 18, 2016');">6 [Doc. 70-3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3, p1');">p. 12, 16');">6, 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">30, 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">32].

         On or about December 21, 2015, a program participant ("John Doe") was found hanging in the barn at Journey. The Harrises were told that "it was a single accident, no other students were involved" and "[f]rom a safety perspective, it was not a typical behavior the other clients would be engaged in." [Doc. 70-3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3, p. 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">39]. It does not appear that Evan had another session with Randall before his next weekly appointment on December 28, 2015. At that appointment, Evan informed Randall that he had self-harmed the previous week, but "denied suicidal ideation, plan, or intent." [Doc. 70-3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3, 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">30');">p. 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">30]. Evan told Randall that "he began to fantasize what his parents might do if he was suddenly gone and if they would understand his pain." [Id.].

         On January 21, 2016');">6, at Evan&#3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">39;s last therapy appointment, Randall described Evan as "shut down both physically and emotionally today, " and noted that he "was almost monosyllabic in most of his responses and had a hard time staying present in the conversation." [Doc. 70-3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3, p. 8J. On January 23');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3rd and 24th, Evan refused to do any of his chores, including feeding the horses and sweeping [Doc. 70-3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3, p. 2]. On January 24, 2016');">6, Evan was seen coming out of the barn in the morning, and then entering the barn alone at 2:11 p.m. [Id.]. Evan returned to the house for five to ten minutes, and then returned to the barn alone again [Id.]. Evan did not return. Around 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3:00 p.m., his body was discovered hanging in the barn [Doc. 70-3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3, p. 2]. Ms. Shockley called Randall at 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3:20 p.m. and notified her that Evan had died, and it appeared to be self-inflicted [Doc. 70-3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3, 1');">p. 1]. Ms. Shockley sent a text message to Tammy Robbins at 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3:27 p.m. stating that she needed to come to the farm, and that Evan had hung himself [Doc. 70-3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3, p. 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3]. Rick Harris was notified at 5:3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">32 p.m. [Doc. 70-3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3, p. 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3].

         On June 10, 2016');">6, Rick Harris, as the administrator of Evan Harris&#3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">39;s estate, filed suit against Q&A, Angela Shockley, Keith Bishop, Matthew Shockley, Sandy Schmiedeknecht, and Tammy Robbins [Doc. 1]. Therein, the plaintiff asserted eleven claims: (1) intentional infliction of emotional distress; (2) negligence in performing assessments on Evan M. Harris; (3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3) negligent supervision of program participants; (4) negligent hiring of staff; (5) negligent training of staff; (6');">6) negligent staffing levels; (7) negligent program design; (8) negligent program assessments; (9) negligent misrepresentations of fact; (10) intentional misrepresentations of fact; and (11) violations of the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act [Id.]. The defendants filed a Motion for Summary Judgment [Doc. 6');">67] on March 7, 2018, seeking dismissal of all counts on the grounds that the plaintiffs claims require expert testimony, and no such expert testimony has been properly disclosed. The plaintiff responded on March 29, 2018 [Doc. 70], and argued that an expert witness was not required for the various claims of negligence and statutory violations.

         STANDARD

         Summary judgment is appropriate "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56');">6. The party seeking summary judgment bears the initial burden of showing the absence of any genuine issues of material fact. See Cefotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">317, 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">322-23');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3 (1986');">6). "The burden then shifts to the nonmoving party to come forward with facts sufficient to create a triable issue of fact." Temkin v. Frederick County Comm&#3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">39;rs, 16');">6');">945 F.2d 716');">6, 718-19 (4th Cir. 1991) (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986');">6)), cert, denied, 502 U.S. 1095(1992).

         However, as the United States Supreme Court noted in Anderson, "Rule 56');">6(e) itself provides that a party opposing a properly supported motion for summary judgment may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of his pleading, but must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Id. at 256');">6. "The inquiry performed is the threshold inquiry of determining whether there is the need for a trial-whether, in other words, there are any genuine factual issues that properly can be resolved only by a finder of fact because they may reasonably be resolved in favor of either party." Id. at 250; see also Charbonnages de France v. Smith, 6');">6');">597 F.2d 406');">6, 414 (4th Cir. 1979) (Summary judgment "should be granted only in those cases where it is perfectly clear that no issue of fact is involved and inquiry into the facts is not desirable to clarify the application of the law." (quoting Stevens v. Howard D. Johnson Co., 181 F.2d 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">390');">181 F.2d 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">390, 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">394 (4th Cir. 1950))).

         In reviewing the supported underlying facts, all inferences must be viewed in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986');">6). Additionally, the party opposing summary judgment "must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Id. at 586');">6. "Where the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the non-moving party, there is no &#3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">39;genuine issue for trial.&#3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">39;" Id. at 587 (citing First Nat&#3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">39;l Bank v. Cities Serv. Co., 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">391 U.S. 253');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">391 U.S. 253');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3, 289 (196');">68)). That is, once the movant has met its burden to show absence of material fact, the party opposing summary judgment must then come forward with affidavits or other evidence demonstrating there is indeed a genuine issue for trial. Fed.R.Civ.p. 56');">6(c); Celotex, 477 U.S. at 3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">323');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3-25; Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. "If the evidence is merely colorable, or is not significantly probative, summary judgment may be granted." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249-50 (citations omitted).

         ANALYSIS

         The defendants ask this Court to grant summary judgment on all counts "because the Plaintiff has failed to identify an expert witness to support any theory of liability in this matter" and thus cannot sustain his burden of proof [Doc. 6');">67]. In support, the defendants state that "the allegations in this case involve questions as to the duties owed by a young adult residential program and these questions are outside of the realm of knowledge of a lay witness or juror, " and thus expert testimony is required. Specifically, the defendants assert that the plaintiff is required to "present expert testimony on the duties required in administering a young adult transitional program, causation as to the death of Evan Harris, and any damages arising from Harris&#3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">3');">39; death." [Doc. 6');">67-1, 1');">p. 10]. This Court will address each count in turn.[1" name="FN1" id="FN1">1]

         A. Count One-Intentional Infliction of ...


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