The mission of the Connecticut Judicial Branch is to serve the interests of justice and the public by resolving matters brought before it in a fair, timely, efficient and open manner.
Contract Law

Contract Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=627

AC38896 - Windsor Federal Savings & Loan Assn. v. Reliable Mechanical Contractors, LLC ("The defendants, Reliable Mechanical Contractors, LLC (Reliable Mechanical), and its sole member, Elijah El-Hajj-Bey, appeal from the summary judgment rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Windsor Federal Savings and Loan Association, on its collection claim, and from the judgment of dismissal of their counterclaims. As to the summary judgment, the defendants claim that the plaintiff failed to prove the nonexistence of any genuine issue of material fact and that it was thus entitled to judgment on its complaint as a matter of law. As to the dismissal of the counterclaims, the defendants argue that the court erred in concluding that their counterclaims were barred by the three year statute of limitations. Because El-Hajj-Bey was not a party to the underlying action at the time final judgment was rendered on the plaintiff’s complaint, he does not have standing to appeal from that judgment. Accordingly, we dismiss El-Hajj-Bey’s appeal from the summary judgment. As to the dismissal of the counterclaims, that judgment applied only to Reliable Mechanical’s counterclaims, not to those advanced by El-Hajj-Bey. There is thus no final judgment on El-Hajj-Bey’s counterclaims from which to appeal, and, accordingly, we dismiss El-Hajj-Bey’s appeal from the judgment of dismissal as to those counterclaims. We reverse the summary judgment ordered by the trial court against Reliable Mechanical and dismiss as moot the appeal from the judgment of dismissal of its counterclaims.")

AC39342 - TD Bank, N.A. v. Salce ("In this action seeking to collect on a promissory note, the defendant, Anthony H. Salce, Jr., appeals from the judgment of the trial court, Hon. Edward F. Stodolink, judge trial referee, rendered in favor of the plaintiff, TD Bank, N.A. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the court, Hon. Richard P. Gilardi, judge trial referee, erred in denying his motion to dismiss by improperly placing the burden of proof on him to establish a lack of personal jurisdiction due to ineffective service of process; and (2) the court, Radcliffe, J., erred in granting summary judgment as to liability in favor of the plaintiff because the defendant’s second special defense was viable. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=611

AC38737 - Cohen v. Meyers (Contracts; claim that trial court improperly failed to pierce corporate veil of corporate defendant and to hold individual defendant personally liable for fraud and violation of Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA) (§ 42-110a et seq.) by corporate defendant; "On appeal, Cohen challenges the court's judgment in favor of Meyers, individually, on his claims for fraud and violation of CUTPA, asserting that the court erred in declining to pierce RMMI's corporate veil. Cohen also claims that the court improperly held him liable for defamation because his speech was protected by the first amendment, he did not make any of the allegedly defamatory statements against Meyers with actual malice, the court employed the wrong legal standard in determining the issue of malice, and each of his allegedly defamatory statements was substantially true even though the burden of proof was assertedly on Meyers to prove that they were not.

In their cross appeal, the defendants first claim that the court erred in awarding damages on the plaintiff's CUTPA claim against RMMI because he failed to prove that he suffered any actual loss or injury as a result of the CUTPA violation. Meyers also claims that the court erred in failing to award punitive damages on his defamation claim and in rejecting his claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=573

AC38635 - Cadle Co. v. Ogalin ("On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly (1) granted the plaintiff’s motion to strike his second special defense, (2) granted the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment and (3) awarded postjudgment interest to the plaintiff. We disagree, and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of trial court.")


Business Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=559

AC38515, AC38516 - Deutsche Bank AG v. Sebastian Holdings, Inc. (Enforcing Foreign Judgment; "These appeals arise from an action to recover an approximately $243 million judgment (English judgment) rendered by the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales (English court) in an action captioned Deutsche Bank AG v. Sebastian Holdings, Inc. (English action) in which the trial court rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiff, Deutsche Bank AG, against the corporate defendant, Sebastian Holdings, Inc. (Sebastian). In the present action, the plaintiff sought to pierce Sebastian’s corporate veil and to enforce the English judgment against the individual defendant, Alexander Vik. The defendants and the plaintiff moved for summary judgment based on the doctrines of res judicata and collateral estoppel, respectively. On appeal, the parties claim that the trial court improperly denied their respective motions for summary judgment. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Judicial Branch Now Publishing Headnotes for its Supreme & Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=534

The Judicial Branch has announced that it is now publishing a syllabus (headnote) at the top of each Supreme and Appellate Court opinion:

The Judicial Branch is now posting online headnotes for both Supreme and Appellate Court opinions. These headnotes, which accompany individual Supreme and Appellate Court decisions, include a short summary of the ruling and the procedural history of a case. The Reporter of Judicial Decisions prepares the headnotes, which are not part of the opinion. As such, the opinion alone should be relied upon for the reasoning behind the decision [Emphasis added].

Subscribe to a case law category (or categories) of your choice through our Email Digest or RSS delivery services to receive the latest cases from the Supreme or Appellate Courts delivered directly to your inbox.


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=530

AC38693 - EH Investment Co., LLC v. Chappo LLC ("The defendants, Chappo LLC and its principal, Richard J. Chappo, appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff, EH Investment Company, LLC, on those counts of the complaint alleging breach of contract by Chappo LLC and conversion by both defendants. The court determined that the defendants, whom the plaintiff had engaged to find a lender willing to make a commercial loan that the plaintiff needed in order to redeem a foreclosed office building it had owned, improperly refused to return the plaintiff’s deposit after the plaintiff informed them that it would be unable to proceed with a loan because it had not obtained a lease extension from the building’s primary tenant, the proceeds from which were intended to service the debt on the loan. The trial court determined that the existence of an executed lease with the tenant was a condition precedent to the parties’ loan procurement contract, the nonoccurrence of which excused the plaintiff’s performance and required Chappo LLC to return the plaintiff’s deposit. The court awarded the plaintiff total damages of $47,500, the amount of the deposit.

The defendants claim on appeal that the trial court improperly determined that the existence of a lease extension was a condition precedent to the parties’ contract. According to the defendants, the terms of the parties’ contract were memorialized in a written engagement letter drafted by Chappo, and Chappo LLC successfully performed its only duty under the parties’ contract by successfully finding a lender willing to make a loan on the terms sought by the plaintiff as set forth in the engagement letter. Further, they contend that because the engagement letter unambiguously set forth express terms governing the disposition of the engagement deposit, which did not include any provision requiring Chappo LLC to return the deposit if the plaintiff was unable to obtain a lease after Chappo LLC procured a commitment from a lender, they were entitled to keep the plaintiff’s deposit. For the reasons that follow, we agree with the defendants. Accordingly, we reverse in part the judgment of the trial court and remand the case to that court with direction to render judgment in favor of the defendants on the breach of contract and conversion counts. The remainder of the judgment is affirmed.")

AC38900 - American Express Bank, FSB v. Rutkowski ("The defendants, Krzysztof Rutkowski and Tri-City Trading, LLC, appeal from the judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the plaintiff, American Express Bank, FSB. On appeal, the defendants claim that the court improperly rendered summary judgment as to liability on the plaintiff’s claim of breach of a contractual credit agreement because the statute of frauds, General Statutes § 52-550 (a) (6), bars enforcement of the agreement. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=523

SC19575 - Channing Real Estate, LLC v. Gates ("The plaintiff, Channing Real Estate, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court, which reversed the judgment of the trial court in favor of the defendant, Brian Gates, on both the plaintiff’s complaint seeking recovery on six promissory notes (notes) and on the defendant’s counterclaim alleging a violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), General Statutes § 42-110a et seq. Channing Real Estate, LLC v. Gates, 159 Conn. App. 59, 83, 122 A.3d 677 (2015). The plaintiff, which prevailed in the Appellate Court, challenges only the scope of the court’s remand order, claiming that it improperly ordered a new trial rather than restricting the proceedings on remand to a hearing in damages. The plaintiff contends that a new trial is unnecessary because the Appellate Court’s proper application of the parol evidence rule resolved the issue of liability on the notes in favor of the plaintiff as a matter of law and because the defendant lacks standing to raise a CUTPA claim. The defendant argues that the Appellate Court correctly concluded that a new trial is necessary to allow him to pursue valid special defenses and counterclaims. We conclude that a new trial is unnecessary, and, accordingly, reverse in part the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=508

AC38333 - Williams Ground Services, Inc. v. Jordan ("The defendant, Williams Ground Services, Inc., appeals from the judgment rendered, following a bench trial, in favor of the plaintiff, Robert F. Jordan, on the plaintiff’s claim of payment due for unpaid landscaping and snow plowing services. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred by (1) determining that the statute of limitations had been tolled because he unequivocally acknowledged the debt and (2) admitting certain documents that he argues are inadmissible under various provisions of the Connecticut Code of Evidence. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38497 - Valley National Bank v. Marcano ("The defendant, Steven Marcano, appeals from the judgment rendered against him, after a court trial, for breach of his obligation under a personal guarantee of a $250,000 line of credit extended to My Little Star Baby Products, Inc. (My Little Star), by the plaintiff, Valley National Bank, as successor in interest to Park Avenue Bank (Valley National). The defendant challenges the trial court’s findings that (1) Valley National established a proper chain of title regarding its ownership of the promissory note originally executed and personally guaranteed by the defendant to Park Avenue Bank (Park Avenue), thereby giving Valley National standing to bring an action on the guarantee of payment of that note and (2) Valley National submitted sufficient evidence to accurately establish the loan balance it claimed was owed by the defendant. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=506

AC38178 - Access Agency, Inc. v. Second Consolidated Blimpie Connecticut Realty, Inc. ("The plaintiff, The Access Agency, Inc., appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant, Richard Tarascio, Jr. The plaintiff claims the court erred in (1) finding that a guaranty signed in connection with an expired lease did not obligate the guarantor under a new lease and (2) using an exhibit for purposes beyond the limited purpose for which it was introduced. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=498

AC38167 - Reserve Realty, LLC v. Windemere Reserve, LLC ("This appeal arises from a breach of contract action in which the plaintiffs, The Reserve Realty, LLC (Reserve Realty), and Theodore Haddad, Sr., as executor of the estate of Jeanette Haddad, sought to recover real estate brokerage fees in connection with the sale and/or lease of units in an apartment complex constructed and leased by the defendant BLT Reserve, LLC (BLT), and of commercial office space not yet constructed by the defendant Windemere Reserve, LLC (Windemere). After a trial to the court, judgment was rendered in favor of the defendants. The plaintiffs appeal from that judgment, claiming that the trial court improperly determined that (1) the purchase and sale agreements upon which they based their claims for brokerage fees constituted part of an illegal tying arrangement in violation of the Connecticut Antitrust Act, General Statutes § 35-24 et seq. (antitrust act), (2) the listing agreements entered into pursuant to such purchase and sale agreements did not comply with General Statutes § 20-325a, and (3) such listing agreements were unenforceable by the plaintiffs because they were personal to Jeanette Haddad. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=478

AC38217, AC38365 - American First Federal, Inc. v. Gordon ("These consolidated appeals arise from an action brought by the plaintiff, American First Federal, Inc., against the defendants, Sheldon M. Gordon and Gordon Group Investments, LLC (GGI), to collect on a commercial loan. Following a trial to the court, judgment was rendered in favor of the plaintiff. In AC 38217, the defendants claim that the court erred by concluding that the plaintiff’s predecessor in interest assigned its rights under the loan to the plaintiff. In AC 38365, the plaintiff claims that the court erred in its determination of attorney’s fees and calculation of postjudgment interest. We disagree with the parties’ claims. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=452

AC38301 - Suntech of Connecticut, Inc. v. Brunoli ("This breach of contract action arises out of the construction of a technology center at Naugatuck Valley Community College (project), which is owned by the state of Connecticut (state). In essence, the complaint alleged that the defendant general contractor breached the subcontract by preventing the plaintiff subcontractor from timely performing pursuant to the terms of the subcontract and by wrongly withholding funds from it. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC37307 - Riley v. Travelers Home & Marine Ins. Co. ("In this case arising from a fire at the home of the plaintiff, C. Andrew Riley, both parties appeal from the judgment of the trial court awarding damages and prejudgment interest to the plaintiff against his homeowners insurer, the defendant, Travelers Home and Marine Insurance Company, upon the jury’s verdict for the plaintiff on claims of breach of contract and negligent infliction of emotional distress. The defendant claims initially that the evidence adduced at trial was insufficient to support the jury’s verdict in favor of the plaintiff on his claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress, and thus that the trial court erred in denying its motions for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, to set aside the verdict, and for remittitur. The defendant also claims that the court erred in allowing the plaintiff’s two expert witnesses to testify over its objection at trial because one of those witnesses was not qualified to render an expert opinion in this case and neither witness had based his expert opinions on a scientifically reliable methodology. In his cross appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court abused its discretion in awarding him prejudgment interest pursuant to General Statutes § 37-3a at the rate of 3 percent instead of 10 percent. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=432

AC38764 - Jonas v. Playhouse Square Condominium Assn., Inc. ("The plaintiff, Christopher Jonas, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his cause of action against the defendants, Playhouse Square Condominium Association, Inc. (Playhouse), and Gault, Inc. (Gault), after he failed to appear at a status conference. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly denied his motion to open the judgment on the ground that he was justified in his failure to appear at the status conference because of his ongoing health problems. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=414

AC38179 - LM Ins. Corp. v. Connecticut Dismanteling, LLC ("The defendant, Connecticut Dismanteling, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff, LM Insurance Corporation. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the court improperly admitted into evidence a certain document under the business records exception to the rule against hearsay, (2) there was insufficient evidence to support the judgment rendered in favor of the plaintiff and (3) the court improperly drew an adverse inference against the defendant for failing to call two witnesses at trial. We disagree with the defendant’s claims, and, accordingly affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=405

AC37843 - William Raveis Real Estate, Inc. v. Zajaczkowski ("The defendants, Peter Zajaczkowski and Iwona Zajaczkowski, appeal from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a trial to the court, in favor the plaintiff, William Raveis Real Estate, Inc. On appeal, the defendants claim that the court (1) erred in concluding that they had breached the exclusive agreement they had with the plaintiff, (2) abused its discretion by awarding the plaintiff attorney’s fees and costs in the absence of an evidentiary hearing, and (3) violated General Statutes § 42-150aa with respect to the award of attorney’s fees. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=383

AC37766 - Connecticut Home Health Services, LLC v. Futterleib ("This case concerns the enforceability of an alleged oral contract between a homemaker-companion agency and its clients. The defendants in this breach of contract action, Ann Futterleib and her husband Alfred Futterleib, appeal from the trial court's judgment partially in favor of the plaintiff, Connecticut Home Health Services, LLC, awarding $21,320.94 for caregiver services rendered by the plaintiff. The defendants claim, inter alia, that the court: (1) erred in finding that they had acted in bad faith, and, therefore, that the plaintiff's failure to comply with statutory requirements regarding home companion-care agencies was excused; and (2) erred in rendering judgment on an oral contract because chapter 400o of the General Statutes, entitled 'Homemaker-Companion Agencies' (Homemaker-Companion Agencies Act), specifically, General Statutes (Rev. to 2010) § 20-679, requires that this type of contract be in writing. We reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=366

AC38493 - Just Restaurants v. Thames Restaurant Group, LLC ("The defendant, Thames Restaurant Group, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the substitute plaintiff, John Russo, doing business as Just Restaurants Business Brokers. The dispositive issue is whether the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over this action. We agree with the parties that the action was commenced by the named plaintiff, Just Restaurants, using a fictitious or assumed business name, or a trade name. Under our law, that name did not create or encompass a person or entity with a legal existence, and, therefore, the named plaintiff had had no capacity to bring an action. The court thus lacked subject matter jurisdiction over its complaint and the action. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case with direction to dismiss the action.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=344

AC37936 - Holmes v. Safeco Ins. Co. of America ("The plaintiffs, Oliver Holmes and Hannah Sokol-Holmes, appeal from the summary judgment rendered in favor of the defendant, Safeco Insurance Company of America, on the plaintiffs’ claim for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in connection with the defendant’s failure and refusal to pay their claim for coverage under their homeowners’ insurance policy with the defendant for losses due to ice damming on their property in February of 2011. The court granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment on the ground that the plaintiffs failed to commence an action within one year of the reported date of loss, as required by the time limitation provision of the subject homeowners’ insurance policy. On appeal, the plaintiffs argue, as they did before the trial court, that the one year time limitation provision of their policy was superseded as a matter of law by the eighteen month limitation provision of Connecticut’s standard fire insurance policy, as set forth in General Statutes (Rev. to 2011) § 38a-307, because the scope of coverage undertheir homeowners’ policy extended to losses caused by fire, which are governed by that statute. For the following reasons, we agree with the trial court that that claim must be rejected in this case, which does not arise from or concern a fire loss, and thus that the court’s judgment for the defendant must be affirmed.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=345

AC38279 - Al Dente, LLC v. Consiglio ("The plaintiffs, Al Dente, LLC, and Carmine Capasso, appeal from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendants, Robert G. Consiglio, Ruth F. Consiglio, and Richard E. Consiglio, individually, and as executor of the estate of Flora Consiglio. The plaintiffs claim that the court improperly concluded that no genuine issue of material fact existed as to any count of their operative complaint. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=324

SC19700 - Horner v. Bagnell ("In this appeal, we consider whether an attorney, who represented clients in contingency fee matters that originated while he was a member of a two person law firm and continued to represent them after the dissolution of that firm, is obligated to share a portion of those fees with his former law partner when those fees were not paid until after the firm’s dissolution. The defendant, Jeffrey S. Bagnell, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a court trial, awarding the plaintiff, Stephen P. Horner, damages in the amount of $116,298.89. On appeal, the defendant contends that the award, predicated on a theory of unjust enrichment, was improper because contingency fee matters are the property of the client, rather than the law firm, and the award violated the fee splitting provisions of rule 1.5 (e) of the Rules of Professional Conduct. Guided by the commentary to rule 1.5 (e) and the well established line of authority following Jewel v. Boxer, 156 Cal. App. 3d 171, 203 Cal. Rptr. 13 (1984), we conclude that the trial court properly awarded the plaintiff a portion of the contingency fees that the defendant collected subsequent to the dissolution of the firm. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38085 - Meridian Partners, LLC v. Dragone Classic Motorcars, Inc.("The defendants, Dragone Classic Motorcars, Inc., Dragone Vintage Cars, NV, Inc., and Emanuel Dragone, appeal from the judgment of the trial court denying their motion to vacate a settlement agreement that was entered into between the defendants and the plaintiff, Meridian Partners, LLC. The plaintiff has filed a cross appeal, challenging the denial of its motion for contempt. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


1 2