BUFFALO, NY - A Supreme Court Judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the estate of Laura Cummings against Erie County and Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard.
WEB EXTRA: Click here to read the Judge's decision.
Laura Cummings was a 23 year old mentally challenged woman from North Collins who was tortured, raped and killed by her mother and brother.
Cummings' estate filed a lawsuit against the County and Sheriff alleging they were responsible for her pain, suffering and wrongful death for failing to investigate and protect Cummings.
In her ruling, Judge Diane Y. Devlin says, "public employees are free to exercise their authority without interference from the courts" and are immune from liability for the decisions they make in the course of their duties.
In a 2 On Your Side Investigation, we reported that when Erie County Adult Protective Services workers were called to the home in North Collins numerous times with allegations that Laura was being abused, they were turned away by Laura's mother, not allowed to speak with Laura alone, or enter the home to inspect living conditions.
Despite that, each time protective service workers officially ruled the calls "unfounded."
Laura Cummings' mother Eva, pled guilty to killing her daughter.
Her brother, Luke Wright, was sentenced to prison for raping and torturing her.
The State Senate and Assembly passed bills designed to protect vulnerable adults from abuse last summer.
An attorney representing Laura's two other brothers believes the judge should have let the case proceed.
"We believe we should be able to interview the lead case worker under oath to find out what she did or what she didn't do and compare that to the policies and procedures of Adult Protective Services," said John Loss.
Loss says an appeal is being considered in the case.
A spokesman for County Executive Mark Poloncarz did not return a phone call from 2 On Your Side for comment.