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Contract Law

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.")


Contract Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=306

SC19574 - CCT Communications, Inc. v. Zone Telecom, Inc. (Breach of contract; declaratory judgment; "The plaintiff, CCT Communications, Inc., appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant, Zone Telecom, Inc., on the plaintiff's complaint and the defendant's counterclaim for damages. The case arises from a purchase agreement (purchase agreement) entered into by the parties in which the plaintiff was to provide various telecommunications equipment, software, and services to the defendant for a switch room located in Los Angeles, California (switch room). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court incorrectly rendered judgment in favor of the defendant on its complaint and the defendant's counterclaim. Specifically, the plaintiff asserts that the trial court incorrectly: (1) concluded that it breached the purchase agreement; (2) failed to award the plaintiff certain damages on count one of its complaint; and (3) awarded damages, costs and attorney's fees in excess of a limitation of liability clause in the purchase agreement. We disagree with the plaintiff and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=286

AC37828 - Aurora Loan Services, LLC v. Hirsch ("The substitute plaintiff, Nationstar Mortgage, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered, in part, in favor of the defendant, Connecticut Attorneys Title Insurance Company. The plaintiff claims that the court erred in: (1) its calculation of damages; (2) declining to award attorney’s fees; and (3) calculating prejudgment interest pursuant to General Statutes § 37-3a from the return date on the summons. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Supreme Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=267

SC19531 - Connecticut Light & Power Co. v. Proctor ("The sole issue in this certified appeal is whether the trial court properly found that the defendant, Gary Proctor, manifested assent to enter into an implied in fact contract with the plaintiff, Connecticut Light and Power Company, for the provision of electric services to a third party. We conclude that the Appellate Court properly determined that the trial court’s finding that the parties had entered into an implied in fact contract under which the defendant would be responsible for payment for those services was not clearly erroneous. Connecticut Light & Power Co. v. Proctor, 158 Conn. App. 248, 256, 118 A.3d 702 (2015). Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=257

AC38198 - Szynkowicz v. Bonauito-O’Hara ("The plaintiff, Peter Szynkowicz, appeals from the judgment rendered in favor of the defendant, Linda Bonauito-O'Hara, doing business as Linda's Team, William Raveis. The underlying dispute arose when the plaintiff and the seller, Edward Development Company, LLC, entered into a dual agency agreement naming Brenda Hanley, a realtor who worked for the same real estate company as the defendant, to act as their dual agent in connection with locating, purchasing and developing the property known as Lot 7 Meadow Brook Drive in East Haddam. After entering into the dual agency agreement, the plaintiff entered into a real estate contract with the seller to develop a single-family home on the property, which was subsequently cancelled when the seller was unable to complete construction. The plaintiff commenced this action against the defendant, whom the plaintiff alleges was also a party to the dual agency agreement, for the return of his deposited moneys advanced to the seller upon the advice of the defendant. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred in granting (1) the motion to strike count five of his complaint because he adequately had alleged an action for breach of an oral contract against the defendant, and (2) the motion for summary judgment because genuine issues of material fact exist as to the defendant's liability under counts one, two, three and four of his complaint. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")



Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=215

AC38332 - Monroe v. Discover Property & Casualty Ins. Co. ("The plaintiff, the town of Monroe, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendering summary judgment in favor of the defendant insurer, Discover Property and Casualty Insurance Company. The plaintiff claims that the court erred in holding that the allegations brought by a third party against the plaintiff in a prior action (underlying action) fell within an exclusion in the applicable policy, and, therefore, that the defendant had no duty to provide a defense to the plaintiff. We agree with the plaintiff and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=216

AC37979 - Meadowbrook Center, Inc. v. Buchman ("This appeal requires us to assess the interplay between a legislative mandate based on a public policy and a procedural rule of practice. On appeal, the defendant, Robert Buchman, claims that the trial court incorrectly denied his postjudgment motion for attorney's fees, sought pursuant to General Statutes § 42-150bb, on the basis that his motion for attorney's fees was untimely, pursuant to Practice Book § 11-21. We reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


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