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Arnold Schuster gave information to the police which led to the capture of Willie Sutton, a notoriously dangerous criminal with notoriously dangerous associates. Schuster's part in the capture was widely publicized, and was followed by threats on his life. Less than three weeks later Schuster was shot and killed while approaching his home. Suit was brought by his administrator against the City of New York, under the wrongful death and survival statutes. The complaint embodied two theories of recovery, negligence and misrepresentation. To show negligence it was urged that the F.B.I. had called on citizens to furnish information that might lead to Sutton's arrest; that Schuster had responded to this call by furnishing such information to the City police, by whom Sutton was "known and wanted"; that Schuster had told the police of the threats on his life and asked for protection, but that the City had failed to exercise reasonable care in supplying him with police protection, and instead advised him that the threats were not to be taken seriously. The shooting, it was charged, was the result of Schuster's informing on Sutton, and would have been prevented by reasonable police protection.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Schuster v. City of New York: A Milestone in the Retreat of Governmental Immunity, 5 How. L.J. 218 (1959)