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Tort Law

Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4982

AC44539 - Nardozzi v. Perez ("The defendant city of Bridgeport appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying in part its motion to dismiss the action of the plaintiff, James Nardozzi. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly denied its motion to dismiss the ninth count of the plaintiff's complaint on the ground of absolute immunity arising from the litigation privilege. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4975

AC44657 - Robbins Eye Center, P.C. v. Commerce Park Associates, LLC ("The defendants, Commerce Park Associates, LLC (Commerce Park), and RDR Management, LLC (RDR), appeal from the judgment of the trial court granting a postjudgment motion of the plaintiff, Robbins Eye Center, P.C., seeking an order compelling Commerce Park to deliver to the plaintiff's counsel certain escrowed funds and future payments received by Commerce Park vis-a-vis an account receivable. The dispositive issue raised by the defendants on appeal is whether a provision in a commercial lease executed by Commerce Park and Kim Robbins, who owns the plaintiff and is a nonparty to this matter, precludes the plaintiff from collecting the escrowed funds and payments at issue. We conclude that the lease provision does not bar the plaintiff's collection efforts, and, therefore, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4970

AC43413 - Byrne v. Avery Center for Obstetrics & Gynecology, P.C. (“On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly (1) limited the testimony of its expert witness; (2) admitted into evidence a medical report, charged the jury concerning future noneconomic damages, and denied its request for a jury interrogatory differentiating between past and future damages; and (3) granted the plaintiff’s motion for offer of judgment interest pursuant to General Statutes (Rev. to 2005) § 52-192a.2 We affirm the judgment of the trial court.”)




Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4961

AC43128 - Chapnick v. DiLauro ("The plaintiff Dominica Chapnick, individually and as administratrix of the estate of Randall Chapnick, appeals from the portion of the judgment of the trial court dismissing, pursuant to Connecticut's anti-SLAPP statute, General Statutes § 52-196a, the counts of the complaint against the defendants Cynthia Flaherty and John Popolizio, Jr., alleging nuisance and seeking injunctive relief. We reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4957

SC20522 - Maldonado v. Flannery ("This case presents the scenario, not altogether uncommon, in which a jury awards personal injury plaintiffs economic damages for medical expenses but zero noneconomic damages. The trial court granted the joint motion for additurs filed by the plaintiffs, William Maldonado and Geovanni Hernandez, and awarded each plaintiff additional money damages for pain and suffering. The Appellate Court reversed the judgment of the trial court on the grounds that it had failed to articulate the specific facts to justify the additur awards or to construe the conflicting evidence in the light most favorable to sustaining the jury's verdict. See Maldonado v. Flannery, 200 Conn. App. 1, 9, 13, 238 A.3d 127 (2020). We reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4924

AC43705 - Wethersfield v. Eser ("In this animal welfare action, the defendant, Suzanne Eser, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff, the town of Wethersfield, following the court's denial of her motion to dismiss the plaintiff's verified petition for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. On appeal, the plaintiff argues that the appeal is moot, and the defendant claims that (1) the trial court incorrectly determined that the plaintiff's failure to file a verified petition within ninety-six hours of taking custody of the animals, as required by General Statutes (Supp. 2022) § 22-329a (a), did not deprive it of subject matter jurisdiction and, alternatively, (2) she was deprived of procedural due process. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")



Tort Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4911

SC20556 - Dorfman v. Smith ("This appeal requires that we examine the scope of the litigation privilege, which provides absolute immunity from suit, in relation to alleged misconduct by an insurance company. The plaintiff, Tamara Dorfman, appeals from that part of the trial court's judgment dismissing her claims against the defendant Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA); General Statutes § 42-110a et seq.; based on a violation of the Connecticut Unfair Insurance Practices Act (CUIPA), General Statutes § 38a-815 et seq. The trial court dismissed these claims on the ground that the litigation privilege deprived the court of subject matter jurisdiction over these claims. The plaintiff argues that, because these claims were the functional equivalent of claims for vexatious litigation, the litigation privilege did not apply. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

SC20556 Concurrence & Dissent - Dorfman v. Smith

AC43956 - Pizzoferrato v. Community Renewal Team, Inc. ("The plaintiff, Gail Pizzoferrato, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying her motion to open and vacate the judgment of the court rendered in favor of the defendant, Community Renewal Team, Inc., in accordance with a decision of an arbitrator that resulted from court-annexed arbitration.On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly denied her motion because the language of both General Statutes § 52-549z and Practice Book § 23-66 require that a decision of an arbitrator be sent to the parties both electronically and by mail before it can become a judgment of the court. Because notice of the arbitrator's decision was never sent to the parties or their counsel by mail in the present case, the plaintiff argues that the judgment of the court, rendered on the basis of the arbitrator's decision, should be vacated. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4846

AC42981, AC42982 - Canner v. Governor's Ridge Assn., Inc., Puteri v. Governor's Ridge Assn., Inc. ("These appeals arise from a dispute concerning the foundations of two condominium units located in the Governor's Ridge common interest community in Trumbull. In Docket No. AC 42981 (first appeal), the plaintiff, Glen A. Canner (Canner), in his capacity as executor of the estate of Charles A. Canner, appeals from the judgment of the trial court in favor of the defendants, Governor's Ridge Association, Inc. (Governor's Ridge); South Meadow Development, LLC (South Meadow), Glenn Tatangelo, and Anthony O. Lucera (South Meadow defendants); the town of Trumbull and Donald G. Murray (town defendants); and Adeeb Consulting, LLC (Adeeb Consulting) and Kareem Adeeb (Adeeb defendants), after the court concluded that each count alleged against the defendants was time barred by the applicable statute of limitations. On appeal, Canner claims that the court improperly concluded that (1) his claim against Governor's Ridge brought pursuant to General Statutes § 47-278 is time barred by the statute of limitations period set forth in General Statutes § 52-577, and (2) his nuisance claims are time barred by the statute of limitations codified in either § 52-577 or General Statutes § 52-584.

In Docket No. AC 42982 (second appeal), the plaintiff, Louis D. Puteri, similarly appeals from the judgment of the trial court in favor of the defendants after the court concluded that each count alleged against the defendants was time barred by the applicable statute of limitations. On appeal, Puteri claims that the court erred for the same reasons Canner asserts in his appeal. We disagree with the plaintiffs and, accordingly, affirm the judgments of the court.")

AC43749 - Karanda v. Bradford ("The plaintiff, Kimberly Karanda, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying her motion to open a judgment of nonsuit due to her noncompliance with a discovery order. The plaintiff claims that the court did not properly evaluate her motion pursuant to General Statutes § 52-212a and Practice Book § 17-43.We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Medical Malpractice Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4843

SC20577 - Caverly v. State ("The decedent, James B. Caverly, died while under the medical care of the employees of the John Dempsey Hospital at the University of Connecticut Health Center. The plaintiff, Ronald G. Caverly, administrator of the decedent's estate, subsequently received authorization from the Office of the Claims Commissioner to file a medical malpractice action against the defendant, the state of Connecticut, doing business as UCONN Health Center/John Dempsey Hospital, pursuant to General Statutes (Rev. to 2017) § 4-160 (b). The plaintiff filed the present medical malpractice action, which the state moved to dismiss on the basis of sovereign immunity. The state argued that, because the plaintiff had received a settlement payment from a joint tortfeasor in connection with the decedent's death, the plaintiff's action was barred by General Statutes § 4-160b (a), which provides that "[t]he Office of the Claims Commissioner shall not accept or pay any subrogated claim or any claim directly or indirectly paid by or assigned to a third party." The trial court denied the state's motion to dismiss on the ground that § 4-160b (a) applies only to subrogated or assigned claims and not to payments made by joint tortfeasors. We affirm the trial court's denial of the state's motion to dismiss."


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4836

AC43696 - Margarum v. Donut Delight, Inc. ("The original plaintiff, Wayne Margarum, Sr., who claimed that he fell and injured himself on an icy sidewalk while exiting a donut shop operated by Donut Delight, Inc. (Donut Delight), at premises owned by the defendant Square Acre Realty, LLC (Square Acre), appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered following a jury trial, in favor of the defendant. The plaintiff claims that the court improperly (1) denied a motion to set aside the verdict returned by the jury because the verdict "shocks the conscience" and is "manifestly unjust and palpably against the evidence," and (2) denied a motion to submit supplemental or amended interrogatories to the jury after the jury initially reported that it was "deadlocked" in its attempt to answer jury interrogatories and was unable to reach a verdict. In addition to responding to the plaintiff's claims on their merits, the defendant argues that the plaintiff's failure to provide this court with the transcripts from the evidentiary portion of the trial precludes this court from reviewing the court's ruling on the motion to set aside the verdict and that the second claim is inadequately briefed. We agree with the defendant that the record is inadequate to review the plaintiff's first claim and that the plaintiff has inadequately briefed her claim regarding supplemental jury interrogatories. Accordingly, we decline to review the plaintiff's claims and affirm the judgment of the court.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4830

SC20414 - Peek v. Manchester Memorial Hospital ("The defendants, Manchester Memorial Hospital and Prospect Medical Holdings, Inc., appeal from the judgment of the Appellate Court, which reversed the judgment of the trial court and concluded that a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether the action of the plaintiff, Delores Peek, was barred by the two year statute of limitations set forth in General Statutes (Rev. to 2015) § 52-584. We conclude that a genuine issue of material fact exists regarding whether the plaintiff initiated her action within two years from the date of her injury, as that term is understood in the context of § 52-584. Therefore, we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4826

AC43819 - Salamone v. Wesleyan University ("The plaintiffs, Craig Salamone and Doug Cartelli, commenced this action, claiming that they were sexually assaulted by a resident advisor or head resident on the campus of the defendant Wesleyan University. In this appeal, the plaintiffs challenge the summary judgment rendered in favor of the defendant on the ground that a genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether the harm alleged was reasonably foreseeable.We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Medical Malpractice Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4802

SC20529 - Riccio v. Bristol Hospital, Inc. ("The appeal in this medical malpractice action requires us to determine whether the trial court correctly concluded that the accidental failure of suit statute, General Statutes § 52-592, did not save the otherwise time barred action of the plaintiff, Joann Riccio, executrix of the estate of Theresa Riccio, because her first medical malpractice action was dismissed due to her attorney's gross negligence for failing to file with her complaint legally sufficient medical opinion letters, as required by General Statutes § 52-190a (a) and two Appellate Court decisions interpreting that statute. Specifically, we must determine whether the plaintiff met her burden of proving that her attorney's admitted failure to know of two Appellate Court decisions, issued six years before she initiated the first action, was a mistake, inadvertence, or excusable neglect rather than egregious conduct or gross negligence. We agree with the trial court that the plaintiff has not met her burden and, therefore, affirm its judgment.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4798

AC43511 - Poce v. O & G Industries, Inc ("The plaintiffs, Julian Poce, Skerdinand Xhelaj, Michael Meredith, Erjon Goxhaj, and Fatjon Rapo, appeal from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant O & G Industries, Inc. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court improperly granted the defendant's (1) motion to strike and (2) motion for summary judgment.We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4774

SC20422 - Gonzalez v. O & G Industries, Inc. ("Almost twelve years ago, an explosion occurred at a natural gas fueled, power generating facility under construction in Middletown. The devastating blast and ensuing fire took the lives of six construction employees and injured nearly thirty more. Several of the victims and their families brought this tort action against the owner of the power plant, the owner’s administrative agent, the general contractor, and others. The plaintiffs claimed that the general contractor’s oversight during construction caused the tragedy, and that the owner and administrative agent were liable for that oversight under theories of strict liability for abnormally dangerous activities and negligence. After their claims against the general contractor were resolved in the contractor’s favor, the plaintiffs sought relief from the defendant owner and administrative agent. The plaintiffs’ two theories of tort liability were bifurcated. With respect to the plaintiffs’ strict liability claims, the defendants asserted that they were not strictly liable because the procedure that caused the explosion was not abnormally dangerous. Following an evidentiary hearing, the trial court agreed and rendered judgment for the defendants with respect to the strict liability claims. Then, the defendants sought summary judgment with respect to the plaintiffs’ negligence claims, asserting that they were not liable in negligence because it was the general contractor, not the owner or administrative agent, which exercised control over the procedure that caused the explosion. The court agreed, granting the defendants’ motions for summary judgment with respect to the negligence claims. The plaintiffs appealed, and we must decide whether tort remedies are available to the plaintiffs following this tragic event.

...

We agree with the defendants with respect to the first issue and conclude that the gas blow procedure is not an abnormally dangerous activity and that the plaintiffs cannot maintain a strict liability claim. We also agree with the defendants with respect to the second issue and conclude that no reasonable jury could find that the defendants exercised control over the gas blow procedure. Finally, we decline to review the plaintiffs’ two additional negligence arguments because we conclude that those arguments are inadequately briefed."


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4771

AC43813 - Lasso v. Valley Tree & Landscaping, LLC ("The plaintiffs, Kleber Gonzalo Loja Lasso, as administrator of the estate of the decedent, Luis Albaro Ortega Ortega (Ortega), and Marcia Del Lourdes Gualan Coronel (Coronel), appeal from the judgment of the trial court granting the motion of the defendant O & G Industries, Inc. (O & G), for summary judgment as to counts four and five of the revised complaint, which alleged claims against O & G for the wrongful death of Ortega pursuant to General Statutes § 52-555 and for loss of consortium on behalf of Coronel, who was married to Ortega at the time of his death. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court improperly granted the motion for summary judgment filed by O & G because (1) issues of material fact existed concerning O & G's responsibility for ensuring safe workplace practices with respect to certain tree removal work performed by the defendant Valley Tree and Landscaping, LLC (Valley Tree), and (2) the court erred in failing to find, pursuant to a construction contract between O & G and the borough of Naugatuck (borough), that O & G owed a duty of care to Valley Tree and, hence, to Ortega. The plaintiffs also claim that the court improperly rendered summary judgment as to Coronel's loss of consortium claim against O & G, which was derivative of the negligence claim against O & G. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4757

AC43727 - Corbo v. Savluk ("In this negligence action stemming from a motor vehicle collision, the plaintiff, Elisabeth M. Corbo, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered after a jury verdict for the defendant, Christopher J. Savluk. On appeal, she claims that the court improperly (1) permitted the defendant's attorney to question her regarding when she first contacted an attorney and (2) admitted into evidence a letter that indicated that the plaintiff had retained counsel to represent her in connection with the accident. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4755

SC20455 - Fajardo v. Boston Scientific Corp. ("This appeal arises from an action in which the named plaintiff, Lesly Fajardo (Fajardo), suffered injuries related to the implantation of a transvaginal mesh sling, a medical device that is implanted in women to treat stress urinary incontinence. In this action, the plaintiffs alleged that the named defendant, Boston Scientific Corporation (Boston Scientific), defectively designed its Obtryx Transobturator Mid-Urethral Sling System (Obtryx), a polypropylene transvaginal mesh sling, and that the product injured her in various ways after Edward Paraiso, a nonparty urologist, implanted it in her. The plaintiffs claimed, as relevant to this appeal, that Boston Scientific's sale of the Obtryx violated the Connecticut Product Liability Act, General Statutes § 52-572m et seq.

The plaintiffs also brought, inter alia, claims of negligence sounding in informed consent and misrepresentation against Fajardo's gynecologist, the defendant Lee D. Jacobs, and Jacobs' medical practice, the defendant OB-GYN of Fairfield County, P.C. (medical defendants).

. . .

On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the trial court (1) incorrectly concluded that Jacobs did not owe a duty to procure Fajardo's informed consent to the sling procedure, (2) improperly rendered summary judgment in favor of the medical defendants on the plaintiffs' misrepresentation claims, and (3) improperly failed to instruct the jury that it could find Boston Scientific liable under the Connecticut Product Liability Act if Fajardo's injuries resulted from Boston Scientific's failure to adopt a reasonable alternative design that rendered the Obtryx unreasonably dangerous. We conclude that the trial court properly rendered summary judgment in favor of the medical defendants on the informed consent and misrepresentation claims and that it properly declined to instruct the jury on the reasonable alternative design prong of the risk-utility test. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4719

SC20535 - Larmel v. Metro North Commuter Railroad Co. (Accidental failure of suit statute; whether judgment rendered after mandatory arbitration is "Trial on the merits" that bars plaintiff from utilizing accidental failure of suit statute; whether plaintiff's failure to request trial de novo following entry of arbitrator's decision was "Matter of form" under accidental failure of suit statute; "This certified appeal requires us to consider whether a case that results in a judgment of the trial court in favor of the defendant following a plaintiff's failure to demand a trial de novo after an arbitration proceeding pursuant to General Statutes (Rev. to 2017) § 52-549z has been "tried on its merits," thus barring a subsequent action under the accidental failure of suit statute, General Statutes § 52-592 (a). The Appellate Court's decision in the present case answered this question in the affirmative, and, as a result, that court remanded the case to the trial court with direction to render judgment in favor of the defendant, Metro North Commuter Railroad Company, on a claim of negligence brought by the plaintiff, Phyllis Larmel, that had previously been the subject of mandatory arbitration in a prior civil action. Larmel v. Metro North Commuter Railroad Co., 200 Conn. App. 660, 661–62, 240 A.3d 1056 (2020). In the present appeal, the plaintiff claims that her first action was never "tried on its merits" because there was no formal trial in the first action and that, as a result, the Appellate Court's conclusion was in error. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")