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Tort Law

Tort Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4188

SC20425 - Cole v. City of New Haven ("This appeal requires us to consider the limits of our recent decision in Borelli v. Renaldi, ___ Conn. ___, ___ A.3d ___ (2020), with respect to whether applicable state and municipal policies render a police officer's acts during a pursuit of a motorist ministerial, rather than discretionary, for purposes of governmental immunity. The plaintiff, Amaadi Cole, brought this negligence action against the defendants, the city of New Haven (city) and one of its police officers, Nikki Curry, seeking damages for personal injuries sustained when Curry pulled her police cruiser directly into an oncoming traffic lane in which the plaintiff was traveling on his dirt bike, causing him to swerve and strike a tree. The plaintiff appeals from the granting of summary judgment by the trial court in favor of the defendants on the ground that they were entitled to governmental immunity for discretionary acts pursuant to General Statutes § 52-557n (a) (2) (B). On appeal, the plaintiff claims, inter alia, that the trial court incorrectly determined that Curry's decision to drive her cruiser into the oncoming traffic lane was a discretionary act because her actions violated several policies that imposed ministerial duties regarding roadblocks, the operation of police vehicles, and pursuits. We agree with the plaintiff and, accordingly, reverse 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=4183

SC20325 - Harvey v. Dept. of Correction ("The nub of the question before us is whether the limitations period for a claim against the state brought by the representative of a decedent is controlled by General Statutes § 52-555 (a) regarding wrongful death claims, General Statutes § 4-160 regarding actions authorized by the Claims Commissioner, or both. The plaintiff, Sandra Harvey, administratrix of the estate of Isaiah Boucher, appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court, which affirmed the trial court's judgment dismissing the action against the defendants, the Department of Correction and the University of Connecticut Health Center Correctional Managed Health Care, for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The plaintiff argues that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that her action was time barred by § 4-160 (d). She argues that, instead, § 52-555 (a) provides the controlling statute of limitations. We conclude that a plaintiff in the unusual posture of the one here, who brings a wrongful death action against the state after having previously obtained permission to sue for medical negligence from the Claims Commissioner, must comply with both the two year time limitation for a wrongful death action articulated in § 52-555 (a) and the one year time limitation on the Claims Commissioner's authorization to sue articulated in § 4-160 (d). Because the plaintiff only complied with the statute of limitations contained in § 52-555 (a) and not with the limitation period articulated in § 4-160 (d), we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4179

AC42869 - Autry v. Hosey ("The defendants, Brendan Hosey and the city of New Haven, appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered, following a trial to the court, in favor of the plaintiff, La Tanya Autry. The plaintiff brought the underlying negligence action against the defendants seeking compensation for damages that she sustained when she was struck by Hosey's police cruiser while she was a pedestrian crossing a city street. On appeal, the defendants claim that the trial court, in its order, improperly calculated noneconomic damages for emotional trauma because the court lacked the necessary evidence to find that pedestrians suffer greater emotional trauma when struck by a vehicle than occupants of a vehicle. We agree with the defendants and, accordingly, reverse in part the judgment of the court and remand the matter for a new hearing in damages.")

AC42765 - Costanzo v. Plainfield ("This case arises out of the tragic drowning of a young child in an aboveground swimming pool.The defendants, the town of Plainfield (town), Robert Kerr and D. Kyle Collins, Jr., appeal from the trial court's orders sustaining the objections of the plaintiff Malisa Costanzo, as administratrix of the estate of the decedent, Isabella R. Costanzo, to the defendants' efforts to commence apportionment actions against the owners of the property where the pool was located and their former tenants who had the pool constructed.We agree with the defendants that the court improperly sustained the plaintiff's objections, and therefore we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for further proceedings.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4171

AC42647 - Larmel v. Metro North Commuter Railroad Co. ("The plaintiff, Phyllis Larmel, commenced the present personal injury action (second action) against the defendant, Metro North Commuter Railroad Company (Metro North), pursuant to the accidental failure of suit statute, General Statutes § 52-592 (a). Metro North responded by filing a motion to dismiss the second action on the ground that it was barred by the doctrine of res judicata. The trial court, S. Richards, J., dismissed the second action. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly (1) dismissed the second action, (2) held that the doctrine of res judicata applies to an arbitrator's decision rendered pursuant to 'informal compulsory arbitration' under General Statutes § 52-549u, (3) failed to hold that a judgment rendered pursuant to General Statutes § 52-549z is a matter of form, (4) failed to hold that the second action was viable pursuant to § 52-592 (a), and (5) failed to hold that the plaintiff's failure to file a demand for a trial de novo constituted mistake, inadvertence, or excusable neglect. The defendant claims that the second action is barred by the doctrine of res judicata or, in the alternative, that § 52-592 (a) does not save the second action. We conclude that the accidental failure of suit statute does not save the second action. The form of the judgment is improper. We, therefore, reverse the judgment of dismissal and remand the case with direction to render judgment in favor of Metro North.")

AC42259 - Goody v. Bedard ("The plaintiff, Robert Goody, administrator of the estate of Richard Goody (decedent), appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant Flori Schmoegner. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred by (1) effectively denying his motion for an extension of time to conduct additional discovery when it rendered summary judgment, and (2) determining that the defendant did not owe a duty of care to the decedent in rendering summary judgment. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4162

AC42570 - Rider v. Rider (Quiet title; fraud; breach of fiduciary duty; "This appeal stems from a family dispute among a father and his two sons. In an effort to revive his claims to ownership of a campground parcel, the plaintiff, Patrick Rider, has created an appellate argument reminiscent of Frankenstein's monster, as he has stitched together aspects of four separate matters: a probate proceeding, a bankruptcy action, a separate 2017 civil action (2017 action) and the underlying action in an effort to reverse the judgment of the trial court. The plaintiff appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the motions to dismiss filed by the defendants, Brian Rider, individually and in his capacities as the executor and conservator of the estate of Leigh H. Rider, Jr. (Leigh Rider), Lake Williams Campground, Inc., Lake Williams Campground Association, Inc. (Association), Charles D. Houlihan, Jr., and Franklin G. Pilicy. The plaintiff and Brian Rider are the sons of Leigh Rider. On appeal, the plaintiff presents, for the first time, a collateral challenge to the appointment by the Probate Court of North Central Connecticut (Probate Court) of Brian Rider as conservator for Leigh Rider and the subsequent conveyance of a campground property from the conserved Leigh Rider to the Association. The plaintiff further contends that the trial court improperly dismissed his complaint on the ground that he lacked standing. 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=4152

AC41832 - Sosa v. Robinson (Alleged deprivation of plaintiff's federal constitutional rights; "The plaintiff, Andres Sosa, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, dismissing certain counts of his complaint in which he sought compensatory relief from the defendant, Dave Robinson, a correctional commissary lead operator at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution (MacDougall), in his individual capacity and rendering summary judgment on the remainder of the complaint in favor of the defendant. The plaintiff claims that the court erred in concluding that it did not have subject matter jurisdiction over his claims seeking compensatory relief against the defendant in his individual capacity and erred in concluding that the defendant was entitled to summary judgment on the remainder of the plaintiff's complaint due to the plaintiff's failure to exhaust his administrative remedies. In addition to arguing that the court's subject matter jurisdiction analysis was correct, the defendant argues in the alternative that the court correctly rendered summary judgment in his favor because the plaintiff's claims fail as a matter of law. We agree with the plaintiff that the court had jurisdiction over the claims in which he seeks compensatory relief against the defendant in his individual capacity. We agree, however, with the defendant's alternative argument that the plaintiff's claims fail on their merits as a matter of law. Therefore, we reverse in part and affirm 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=4143

SC20271 - Dougan v. Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. ("This appeal requires us to consider the proof necessary to establish a claim for medical monitoring, the availability of which is a question of first impression under Connecticut law. The plaintiffs Philip Badorek, Michael Daley, William Grem IV, and Fred Ferrara appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendants Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation (Sikorsky) and Carrier Corporation (Carrier) on their medical monitoring claims, which stemmed from a workplace asbestos exposure at Sikorsky’s cogeneration project in Stratford. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the trial court improperly granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment because (1) a genuine issue of material fact exists with respect to the issue of physical injury because the plaintiffs each currently suffer from a subclinical injury as a result of asbestos exposure, and (2) Connecticut law permits a cause of action for medical monitoring. We conclude that the trial court properly granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment, albeit on alternative grounds, because, even if we were to recognize a medical monitoring claim in the absence of any physical manifestation of injury under Connecticut law, the plaintiffs nevertheless failed to establish a genuine issue of material fact as to certain elements of the claim, in particular, whether the provision of medical monitoring is reasonably necessary for them. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4141

AC41693 - Borg v. Cloutier (Private nuisance; invasion of privacy; defamation; defamation per se; trespass; punitive damages; permanent injunction; motion for contempt; "The underlying action is the latest chapter in a long-running dispute between neighbors. The plaintiffs John Borg and Alison Borg brought several causes of action sounding in trespass, private nuisance, and invasion of privacy against the defendant, Lynne Cloutier. In a counterclaim, the defendant brought several causes of action against either one or both of the plaintiffs sounding in trespass, private nuisance, invasion of privacy, defamation and defamation per se, relating to the plaintiffs' allegedly directing flood lights at the defendant's residence for extended periods of time and for allegedly publishing a website containing defamatory statements about the defendant. Following a trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant on the complaint and on the counterclaim, and the court denied the plaintiff's motion to set aside the verdict, awarded the defendant common-law punitive damages and ordered a permanent injunction against the plaintiffs, limiting their use of the lights directed at the defendant's property and requiring John Borg to remove the defamatory statements about the defendant from the website. The court thereafter held both plaintiffs in contempt for not complying with the permanent injunction as to the lights and held John Borg in contempt for violating the terms of the injunction as to the website. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court erred in (1) denying their motion to set aside the verdict in favor of the defendant on her counterclaim, (2) awarding punitive damages to the defendant, (3) granting the permanent injunction against John Borg regarding the website, and (4) holding John Borg in contempt with respect to the website containing defamatory statements about the defendant. For the reasons set forth herein, we affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")

AC42410 - Stilkey v. Zembko (Statutory theft; "The defendant, Elizabeth A. Zembko, appeals from the judgment rendered after a court trial in favor of the substitute plaintiff, Pamela Rustigian, administratrix of the estate of Lois R. Stilkey (administratrix). On appeal, the defendant claims that the court (1) abused its discretion in considering the administratrix' continuing course of conduct argument despite improper pleading, (2) improperly concluded that the continuing course of conduct doctrine tolled the statute of limitations, and (3) erroneously found that Stilkey had no knowledge of the defendant's actions and did not consent to or authorize those actions. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC42068 - Ferri v. Powell-Ferri (Vexatious litigation; trusts; cross complaint; motion for summary judgment; "In this vexatious litigation action, the plaintiff, Paul John Ferri, appeals following the rendering of summary judgment in favor of the defendants Thomas Parrino and the law firm of Nusbaum & Parrino, P.C. (Parrino defendants). On appeal, the primary issue is whether the trial court properly concluded that the Parrino defendants had probable cause to initiate and pursue their cross complaint filed against Ferri in a prior lawsuit. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC42397 - Hill v. OSJ of Bloomfield, LLC (Negligence; premises liability; business invitee; ""Drawing logical deductions and making reasonable inferences from facts in evidence, whether that evidence be oral or circumstantial, is a recognized and proper procedure in determining the rights and obligations of litigants, but to be logical and reasonable they must rest upon some basis of definite facts, and any conclusion reached without such evidential basis is a mere surmise or guess." (Internal quotation marks omitted.) Paige v. St. Andrew's Roman Catholic Church Corp., 250 Conn. 14, 34, 734 A.2d 85 (1999). This important principle lies at the heart of this premises liability appeal. The defendant, OSJ of Bloomfield, LLC, doing business as Ocean State Job Lot, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a bench trial, in favor of the plaintiff, Alicia Hill, for injuries she sustained when two empty cardboard boxes fell onto her head and shoulder from the top shelf of the aisle she was browsing. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) improperly applied the mode of operation rule as a basis for finding the defendant liable in negligence, and (2) erroneously found that the defendant's merchandise stacking methods caused the boxes to fall on the plaintiff. The plaintiff argues that the judgment should be affirmed because she proved her premises liability claim under the affirmative act rule. We conclude that the evidence adduced at trial does not support the imposition of liability on the basis of the mode of operation rule or the affirmative act rule. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case with direction to render judgment for the defendant.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4134

AC43154 - Maldonado v. Flannery (Negligence; personal injury; damages; motion for additur; "The plaintiffs, William Maldonado and Geovanni Hernandez, brought a negligence action against the defendants, Kelly C. Flannery and Michael T. Flannery, seeking damages for injuries sustained in an automobile accident. After a jury trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs in which it found economic damages for the plaintiffs but no noneconomic damages. The plaintiffs filed a joint motion for additurs requesting that the court order noneconomic damages.The court granted the plaintiffs' joint motion and ordered noneconomic damages. The defendants appeal from the judgment of the court granting the plaintiffs' joint motion for additurs and ordering additurs in the amount of $8000 to the verdict in favor of Maldonado and $6500 to the verdict in favor of Hernandez. On appeal, the defendants claim that the trial court abused its discretion by granting the plaintiffs' joint motion for additurs because the court's memorandum of decision lacked the specific facts it relied on to justify additurs, and there existed issues of credibility regarding the plaintiffs' testimony about their noneconomic damages. Therefore, the plaintiffs failed to prove their claims for noneconomic damages.We agree that the court abused its discretion in ordering additurs and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4120

AC42987 - Augustine v. CNAPS, LLC (Negligence; premises liability; "In this negligence action sounding in premises liability, the plaintiff, Sandra Augustine, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant, CNAPS, LLC. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly concluded that there was no evidence that the alleged premises defect was the proximate cause of the plaintiff's fall. We conclude that the plaintiff presented sufficient evidence to show the existence of a genuine issue of material fact on the question of causation. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4115

AC42155 - 25 Grant Street, LLC v. Bridgeport (Negligence; recklessness; statutory governmental immunity (§ 52-557n (b) (8)); "This appeal arises from an action brought by the plaintiff, 25 Grant Street, LLC, against the defendant city of Bridgeport (city), following the destruction of the plaintiff's warehouse by a fire that caused substantial environmental damage to the surrounding area. The plaintiff ultimately alleged that the city was liable for the damage because it had failed to inspect the warehouse prior to the fire, which constituted a reckless disregard for health and safety. The plaintiff appeals from the trial court's summary judgment rendered in favor of the city on the ground that it is entitled to governmental immunity pursuant to General Statutes § 52-557n (b) (8). We affirm the judgment of the trial court on the alternative grounds that are discussed herein.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4090

AC42912 - Cohen v. Postal Holdings, LLC (Summary judgment; negligence; private nuisance; "The plaintiffs, Chad E. Cohen and Kirsten Cohen, appeal from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant, Postal Holdings, LLC, on their operative two count complaint sounding in negligence and private nuisance. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the trial court improperly concluded that (1) the defendant was not liable for negligence on the ground that there was no genuine issue of material fact that the defendant did not exercise control over the leased premises at issue and, therefore, did not owe a duty of care to the plaintiffs, who, at all relevant times, owned abutting property, and (2) the defendant was not liable for private nuisance on the ground that there was no genuine issue of material fact that the defendant did not interfere with the plaintiffs' use and enjoyment of their abutting property. We disagree, and, accordingly, we affirm the summary judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4087

SC20327 - Lafferty v. Jones (Defamation; "This public interest appeal presents the opportunity to consider the scope of a trial court's inherent authority to sanction a party to litigation for his or her remarks about the case in light of that party's right to free speech under the first amendment to the United States constitution. The plaintiffs in these cases, a first responder and family members of those killed in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, brought these actions against the defendants, Alex Emric Jones and several of his affiliated corporate entities, claiming that statements made on Jones' radio show advancing certain conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook shooting were tortious in nature. The defendants appeal from the orders of the trial court sanctioning them by revoking their opportunity to pursue the special motions to dismiss provided by Connecticut's anti-SLAPP statute, General Statutes § 52-196a, issued after the trial court found that the defendants had violated numerous discovery orders and that Jones personally had engaged in harassing and intimidating behavior directed at the plaintiffs' counsel, Attorney Christopher Mattei. On appeal, the defendants claim, inter alia, that the trial court (1) improperly sanctioned the defendants because Jones' speech was protected under the first amendment, and (2) abused its discretion in sanctioning the defendants because the trial court improperly permitted discovery that exceeded the limited scope contemplated by § 52-196a (d). The defendants also claim that the trial court violated their due process rights by failing to afford them sufficient notice and a meaningful opportunity to be heard before issuing the sanctions orders. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the trial court's sanctions orders.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4074

AC42460 - Carrico v. Mill Rock Leasing, LLC (Negligence; motion for summary judgment; "The plaintiff, Tina M. Carrico, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendering summary judgment in favor of the defendant Jones Landscaping, LLC. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly determined that counts three through five of the complaint alleged premises liability claims and did not sound in ordinary negligence. We agree with the plaintiff and reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4053

AC41809 - Maselli v. Regional School District No.10 (Summary judgment; assault and battery; intentional infliction of emotional distress; negligent infliction of emotional distress; negligence; recklessness; "The plaintiff, Theresa Maselli, as next friend of her minor daughter, Angelina Maselli, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendants, Regional School District Number 10, which serves the towns of Burlington and Harwinton; its superintendent, Alan Beitman; the principal of Har-Bur Middle School (middle school), Kenneth Smith; and Robert Samudosky, a physical education teacher at the middle school and the coach of the girls soccer team. The plaintiff claims that the court improperly granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment because (1) a jury reasonably could have concluded that Samudosky intended to batter Angelina when he kicked a ball during soccer practice that struck her, (2) a jury reasonably could have concluded that Samudosky is liable for battery for acting wantonly or recklessly when he kicked the ball, (3) the court improperly concluded that the defendants were entitled to governmental immunity pursuant to General Statutes § 52-557n (a) (2) (B) because the defendants had a duty to act and Angelina was an identifiable person to which the imminent harm exception to governmental immunity applied, and (4) the court improperly applied the governmental immunity analysis by considering whether Angelina was a member of an identifiable class of potential victims. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC41834 - Mccullough v. Rocky Hill (Abuse of process; intentional infliction of emotional distress; trespass; trespass to chattels; fraudulent misrepresentation; invasion of privacy; summary judgment; governmental immunity; "The self-represented plaintiff, Stephen C. McCullough, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant, the town of Rocky Hill, on all twelve counts of his operative complaint. On appeal, the plaintiff raises several claims that do not merit substantive discussion. The plaintiff further claims that the court improperly rendered summary judgment in favor of the defendant on (1) the intentional tort claims pleaded in his operative complaint and (2) his abuse of process claims. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC41654 - Rozbicki v. Sconyers (Vexatious litigation; "The plaintiff, Zbigniew S. Rozbicki, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendants, Frederick J. Laser (Laser), Laser Building Company, J. Michael Sconyers, and Ackerly Brown, LLP, on his one count complaint sounding in vexatious litigation. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly rendered summary judgment in favor of the defendants on the grounds that (1) the defendants had probable cause to assert special defenses and to file a counterclaim in a prior action commenced by the plaintiff against Laser and Laser Building Company (Laser defendants), and (2) the Laser defendants relied in good faith on the advice of J. Michael Sconyers and Ackerly Brown, LLP (Sconyers defendants), their counsel in the prior action, in asserting the special defenses and filing the counterclaim. We affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")

AC41759 - Gerrish v. Hammick (Defamation; tortious interference; "This is a tort action brought by the plaintiff, Michael Gerrish, against the defendant Matthew Willauer seeking to recover damages for injuries that he claims to have sustained as a result of an allegedly defamatory statement made by the defendant to the plaintiff's former employer, Quinnipiac University (Quinnipiac). The plaintiff appeals from the trial court's granting of summary judgment in favor of the defendant. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court, which initially had denied the defendant's motion for summary judgment, improperly granted (1) the defendant's motion to reargue and (2) upon reconsideration, the defendant's motion for summary judgment as to the defamation and tortious interference counts of his complaint. We disagree with both claims and, therefore, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4048

AC42748 - Sackman v. Quinlan (Conversion; unjust enrichment; tortious interference with contract; whether trial court abused its discretion when it granted motion for permission to file motion for summary judgment; "This appeal arises from a dispute between the self-represented plaintiffs, the biological children of William Sackman, Jr. (William), from his marriage to Elaine Sackman (Elaine), and the defendants, who are the children of William's second wife, Nancy L. Sackman (Nancy), and one of the children's spouse. The plaintiffs appeal from the judgment of the trial court, rendered in favor of the defendants on a motion for summary judgment. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the trial court improperly (1) allowed the defendants to file a motion for summary judgment, (2) granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment, and (3) failed to view the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. We disagree and, therefore, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC42654 - Audibert v. Halle (Negligence; motion to set aside verdict and for new trial; "The plaintiff, Carole Audibert, brought this personal injury action against the defendant, Wesley Halle, for injuries she alleges she sustained as the result of an automobile accident on April 12, 2013, caused by the defendant's negligence. The case was tried to the jury, which returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff. The plaintiff appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered in accordance with the jury's verdict. The plaintiff claims that (1) the court improperly admitted irrelevant evidence, (2) the court improperly failed to provide a curative instruction to the jury, (3) the defendant's counsel violated rule 3.4 (5) of the Rules of Professional Conduct during closing argument, depriving the plaintiff of a fair trial, and (4) the court abused its discretion by failing to set aside the verdict and to grant the plaintiff a new trial. We affirm the judgment of the court.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4040

SC20232 - Borelli v. Renaldi (Negligence; Municipal Police; Governmental and Qualified Immunity; "This appeal requires us to consider the narrow question of whether a town and its municipal police officers are shielded by governmental and qualified immunity from liability for the decision to initiate a high-speed police pursuit that lasted less than two minutes and ended in a fatal automobile accident. The plaintiff, Angela Borelli, administratrix of the estate of Brandon Giordano (decedent), appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting summary judgment in favor of the defendants, the town of Seymour (town) and three officers of the Seymour Police Department (department), Officer Anthony Renaldi, Officer Michael Jasmin and Sergeant William King. The plaintiff claims that the trial court incorrectly concluded that (1) General Statutes § 14-283 (d) imposes a discretionary rather than a ministerial duty on police officers "to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons and property" in determining whether to pursue a motorist who flees when an officer attempts to pull him or her over, and (2) the plaintiff failed to demonstrate that any issue of material fact remained regarding whether the decedent was an identifiable victim subject to imminent harm on the basis of the court's finding that there was no evidence in the record supporting that conclusion. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4029

AC42419 - Scholz v. Epstein (Motion to dismiss; statutory theft; subject matter jurisdiction; absolute immunity; litigation privilege; "This appeal concerns an issue of first impression in Connecticut: whether an attorney is protected by absolute immunity under the litigation privilege from a claim of statutory theft arising from the attorney's conduct during prior judicial proceedings. The plaintiff, Stephen W. Scholz, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the motion of the defendant, Attorney Juda J. Epstein, to dismiss the plaintiff's action for statutory theft for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the ground that the defendant was protected by absolute immunity pursuant to the litigation privilege. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred in (1) granting the defendant's motion to dismiss and determining that the litigation privilege affords the defendant absolute immunity from the plaintiff's action for statutory theft, which was brought pursuant to General Statutes § 52-564, (2) ruling that the public policy considerations underlying the litigation privilege are served by affording the defendant absolute immunity from civil liability for his alleged criminal conduct that was the basis for the statutory theft claim, (3) its application of the balancing of interests test set forth in Simms v. Seaman, 308 Conn. 523, 543–44, 69 A.3d 880 (2013), and (4) granting the motion to dismiss and determining that the defendant was absolutely immune from liability for statutory theft where some of the defendant's alleged criminal conduct was perpetrated outside the scope of judicial proceedings. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4014

AC42164 - Devine v. Fusaro (Wrongful death; subject matter jurisdiction; claim that trial court improperly granted motion to dismiss action on ground that it was barred by doctrine of sovereign immunity; "The plaintiff, Michael Devine, administrator of the estate of Timothy Devine (Devine), appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered after the granting of the motion filed by the defendants, Louis Fusaro, Jr., Steven Rief, Michael Avery, and Kevin Cook, to dismiss his wrongful death action, which involves the suicide of Devine after a standoff with law enforcement, including the defendants, who are members of the tactical unit of the State Police. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court incorrectly dismissed the action on the ground that it was barred by sovereign immunity. In granting the motion to dismiss, the court concluded that the facts alleged in the complaint satisfied all four criteria of the test set forth in Spring v. Constantino, 168 Conn. 563, 362 A.2d 871 (1975), rendering the lawsuit an action brought against the defendants in their official capacities. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC42154 - Ahrens v. Hartford Florists' Supply, Inc. (Product liability; motion to dismiss; personal jurisdiction; motion to implead; claim that trial court erred in granting motions to dismiss third-party complaint; claim that trial court applied incorrect standard when it found that strict compliance with statutes (§§ 52-102a and 52-577a (b)) was required when impleading third party into product liability case; "This appeal involves a dispute between Delaware Valley Floral Group, Inc. (Delaware), a defendant in the underlying tort action, and third-party defendants, Fall River Florist Supply Corporation (Fall River) and Pennock Company (Pennock). Delaware appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the third-party defendants' motions to dismiss its third-party complaint. On appeal, Delaware argues that the court erred in granting the motions by, inter alia, improperly construing General Statutes §§ 52-102a and 52-577a (b). We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3997

AC42183 - Anthis v. Windom (Negligence; recklessness; motion in limine; motion for remittitur; motion to open; "The defendant, Robert D. Windom, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying various motions that he filed in the present action commenced by the plaintiff, Kristine S. Anthis, in favor of whom the court rendered judgment following a jury trial. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly denied his (1) motion in limine, (2) motion for remittitur, and (3) motion to open, which, the defendant contends, effectively resulted in a double recovery by the plaintiff and a double payment by the defendant with respect to property damage expenses incurred by the plaintiff. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC41333 - Greene v. Keating (Vexatious litigation pursuant to statute (§ 52-568); "The plaintiff, Brenda Greene, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant law firm, Rucci, Burnham, Carta, Carello & Reilly, LLP, in the plaintiff's vexatious litigation action. On appeal, Greene claims that the court improperly concluded that, although she had established one of her vexatious litigation claims against the defendant, the defendant was entitled to judgment in its favor because Greene failed to prove the amount of her damages. Specifically, Greene claims that the court improperly concluded that she failed to present evidence that would allow the court reasonably to calculate damages in the form of attorney's fees. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39574 - Osborn v. Waterbury (Negligence; "This negligence action against the defendants, the city of Waterbury (city) and the Waterbury Board of Education (board), concerns the injuries that the minor plaintiff, Tatayana Osborn (child), sustained during a lunchtime recess at her elementary school. This appeal returns to us on remand from our Supreme Court following its reversal of this panel's prior decision. See Osborn v. Waterbury, 333 Conn. 816, 834, 220 A.3d 1 (2019) (holding that expert testimony not necessary to determine whether 'the defendants adequately supervised the children"). Our Supreme Court remanded the case to us "to consider the defendants' remaining claims on appeal.' Id. Those claims are that 'the trial court improperly (1) rejected [the defendants'] special defense of governmental immunity for discretionary acts, (2) concluded that the plaintiffs' injuries were caused when an inadequate number of adults were assigned to supervise up to 400 students when there was evidence that there were no more than 50 students on the playground . . . and [(3)] awarded damages intended to encourage continued therapy and occupational training for the child in the absence of evidence that she would need such services in the future.' (Internal quotation marks omitted.) Id., 821–22. We agree with the defendants' second claim and, therefore, reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the matter for a new trial.")


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