The First Department determined defendant school’s motion to dismiss the complaint was properly denied. Plaintiffs alleged the school retaliated against them after they complained about race-related issues by making a false child neglect report to Child Protective Services (CPS). The school argued the plaintiffs will not be able to learn the identity of the person who reported the alleged neglect because of the immunity provided by the Social Services Law. The Second Department explained that the immunity question is not relevant to whether the complaint states causes of action:
… [P]laintiffs assert causes of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation, violations of the New York State and City Human Rights Laws, and negligent hiring, training and supervision … .
Defendants moved to dismiss all of these causes of action on the basis that plaintiffs would be unable to prove any of these claims because they did not know the identity of the CPS reporter and would be unable to learn it in discovery. …
… [I]n the context of this motion to dismiss, the Court does not assess the relative merits of the complaint’s allegations against defendant’s contrary assertions or to determine whether or not plaintiffs can produce evidence to support their claims … . Whether plaintiffs “can ultimately establish [their] allegations is not a part of the calculus in determining a motion to dismiss” … . Thus, regardless of whether plaintiffs will be able to obtain disclosure concerning the identity of the CPS reporter (Social Services Law § 422[A] …), defendants have not demonstrated entitlement to dismissal of the well-pleaded complaint for failure to state a cause of action … . M.H.B. v E.C.F.S., 2019 NY Slip Op 08276, First Dept 11-14-19