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Contract Law

Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5311

AC45192 - Myshkina v. Gusinski (Breach of contract; motion for default for failure to appear; motion for judgment on default; "The defendant, Vladimir Gusinski, appeals from the default judgment rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Galina Myshkina. The defendant claims that the court, in rendering the judgment, improperly relied on the affidavit of debt of the plaintiff's counsel in contravention of Practice Book § 17-25 (b) (1). We agree and reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5305

AC44274 - Schimenti Construction Co., LLC v. Schimenti (“The plaintiff, Schimenti Construction Company, LLC, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant, Joseph Schimenti, on counts one and two of its complaint alleging breach of an employment contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred in determining that continued employment of an at-will employee does not constitute consideration for a restrictive covenant. We agree with plaintiff’s claim and, therefore, reverse the summary judgment rendered in favor of the defendant and remand the case for further proceedings.”)


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5274

AC45123 - Johnson v. Vita Built, LLC (“We agree that the court improperly concluded that the contract unambiguously provided that the parties would share only in net profits and did not reflect an intent to share in all losses resulting from the sale of the property. We also agree with the plaintiffs that the court made clearly erroneous factual findings in support of its alternative conclusion that, even if the contract is ambiguous regarding the parties’ intent, the parol evidence established probable cause that the defendants would prevail on their counterclaim. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the court granting the defendants’ application for a prejudgment remedy and remand for a new prejudgment remedy hearing.”)


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5250

AC44740 - 307 White Street Realty, LLC v. Beaver Brook Group, LLC (“The present appeal arises out of an action brought by the plaintiff lessee, 307 White Street Realty, LLC, against the defendant lessor, Beaver Brook Group, LLC, to enforce an option to purchase clause in the parties' commercial lease (lease option), which included certain concomitant contractual and statutory obligations related to the Hazardous Waste Establishment Transfer Act, General Statutes § 22a-134 et seq. (Transfer Act). The plaintiff appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the defendant's motion to dismiss the present action as moot because, after the plaintiff commenced it, the parties executed a purchase and sale agreement regarding the leased property that purportedly supersedes the lease option with respect to the sale of the property such that the court no longer can afford any practical relief to the plaintiff by adjudicating the underlying action. The plaintiff claims on appeal that the court improperly (1) determined that the defendant's motion to dismiss implicated the court's subject matter jurisdiction, (2) failed to hold an evidentiary hearing necessary to resolve disputed material facts, and (3) concluded that the execution of the purchase and sale agreement rendered the plaintiff's action moot in its entirety. For the reasons that follow, we agree with the plaintiff that the court improperly granted the motion to dismiss, and, accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the court and remand for further proceedings.”)

AC45078 - Tremont Public Advisors, LLC v. Materials Innovation & Recycling Authority (“The plaintiff, Tremont Public Advisors, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered following the court's decision striking the plaintiff's complaint. The plaintiff claims that the court erred in concluding that the defendant, Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority (MIRA), formerly known as Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority, is exempt from liability under the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), General Statutes § 42-110a et seq., for engaging in allegedly illegitimate bidding practices. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.”)


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5228

AC44872 -Fischer v. People's United Bank, N.A. (“We conclude that (1) the judgment dismissing some, but not all, counts of the complaint brought by Fischer and Fischer Real Estate, Inc., is not an appealable final judgment, and (2) the court properly dismissed all counts brought by 1730 LP for a lack of subject matter jurisdiction because 1730 LP’s general partner did not authorize the commencement of the action against the defendants. Accordingly, we dismiss the appeal as it pertains to Fischer and Fischer Real Estate, Inc., and affirm the court’s judgment of dismissal as it relates to the claims brought by 1730 LP.”)


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5219

AC44416 - Downing v. Dragone (“In this breach of contract action, the defendant Dragone Classic Motorcars, Inc., appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a court trial, in favor of the plaintiff, Christine Downing. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly (1) found that a written contract existed between the parties and (2) admitted ‘‘hearsay evidence’’ on the issue of damages. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.”)


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5207

AC44790 - Metropolitan District Commission v. Marriott International, Inc. (“The plaintiff claims on appeal that the trial court, in ruling on the defendant's postjudgment motion, improperly ordered the discharge of its sewer benefit assessment lien, which the plaintiff argues exceeded the court's jurisdiction and constituted an "unlawful end run around § [7-250] . . . ." The defendant disagrees, contending that the court either had continuing jurisdiction to invalidate the lien as a means of effectuating its summary judgment ruling in favor of the defendant or that it properly acted pursuant to the statutory authority granted it by § 49-51. Alternatively, the defendant argues that the plaintiff's claim is barred by res judicata and/or judicial estoppel. For the reasons that follow, we agree with the plaintiff that the court improperly ordered the sewer benefit assessment lien discharged and reject the defendant's arguments to the contrary. Accordingly, we reverse in part the judgment of the court and remand with direction to deny, in total, the defendant's postjudgment motion.”)


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5191

AC44322 - Paniccia v. Success Village Apartments, Inc. ("In this breach of contract action, the named defendant, Success Village Apartments, Inc., appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a second court trial, in favor of the plaintiff, David Paniccia, the defendant’s former employee. In 2018, following the first court trial of this matter, the court, Arnold, J., rendered judgment for the defendant on the plaintiff’s claims for breach of an employment contract, violations of General Statutes §§ 31-71b and 31-72,2 and breach of the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing. Thereafter, however, Judge Arnold granted the plaintiff’s motion to open and vacate the judgment because his judgment was rendered untimely pursuant to General Statutes § 51-183b, which requires that a trial court render a decision within 120 days after the completion of a civil trial.3 After conducting a second court trial in 2019, the court, Jacobs, J., rendered judgment for the plaintiff and awarded him $172,969.90 in damages, which included $11,672.46 in prejudgment interest on back wages.

On appeal, the defendant claims that Judge Arnold improperly granted the plaintiff's motion to open and vacate the 2018 judgment for the defendant. In the alternative, the defendant claims that Judge Jacobs improperly (1) relied on parol evidence rather than the employment contract in finding that the contract was valid and enforceable and (2) awarded the plaintiff prejudgment interest pursuant to General Statutes § 37-3a. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.”)


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5181

AC43880 - Bruno v. Whipple ("The plaintiff, Lisa Bruno, appeals, and the defendant Heritage Homes Construction Company, LLC, cross appeals, from the judgment of the trial court denying their respective motions for attorney's fees. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred by failing to award her (1) attorney's fees pursuant to General Statutes § 42-150bb and/or (2) attorney's fees and other litigation-related costs pursuant to a fee-shifting provision of a construction contract executed by the parties. On cross appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly denied its motion for attorney's fees because the defendant, not the plaintiff, is the prevailing party in this matter. We conclude that the court did not err in denying both motions for attorney's fees. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC44804 - Hassett v. Secor's Auto Center, Inc. ("In this action arising from the purchase of a used motor vehicle by the plaintiff, Erin C. Hassett, from the defendant, Secor's Auto Center, Inc., a used car dealer, the trial court rendered judgment in accordance with a jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff with respect to four of the five claims set forth in the complaint and awarded the plaintiff $11,000 in damages. On appeal from that judgment, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly denied her motion for additur. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5159

SC20543, SC20544 - Clinton v. Aspinwall (Action to recover damages for breach of contract and fiduciary duty; "When a court renders judgment in a multicount civil action with fewer than all counts of a plaintiff’s complaint accounted for in that judgment, jurisdictional alarm bells should ring if any party files an appeal, alerting the parties and the trial court to a potential final judgment problem. Before the parties and the appellate courts expend resources resolving the appeal, it is important to examine the rules of practice, statutes and our case law to determine whether an appeal can be taken from that judgment. See General Statutes §§ 51-197a and 52-263; Practice Book §§ 61-2 through 61-5. In Meribear Productions, Inc. v. Frank, 328 Conn. 709, 183 A.3d 1164 (2018), we held in the context of a court trial that, when legally consistent theories of recovery have been litigated but not all theories have been ruled on, there is no final judgment. The present appeals require us to determine whether the same threshold jurisdictional rule applies in the context of civil jury trials. We hold that it does and are therefore compelled to vacate the judgment of the Appellate Court and to remand this case to that court with direction to dismiss the appeals for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5144

AC44424 - Harrigan v. Fidelity National Title Ins. Co. (The plaintiff, Paul Harrigan, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, following a bench trial, rendered in part in favor of the defendant, Fidelity National Title Insurance Company, in connection with a title insurance policy (title policy) issued by the defendant to the plaintiff. On appeal, the plaintiff challenges the judgment in favor of the defendant only with respect to count two of the operative complaint, the third revised complaint, which alleges that the defendant's conduct in handling an insurance claim filed by the plaintiff pursuant to the title policy violated the Connecticut Unfair Insurance Practices Act (CUIPA); General Statutes § 38a-815 et seq.; and that such unfair and deceptive acts or practices of the defendant thereby violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), General Statutes § 42-110a et seq. Specifically, the plaintiff claims on appeal that (1) the court applied an incorrect standard in its analysis of whether the defendant violated CUIPA by requiring a finding of common-law bad faith by the defendant for the plaintiff to establish a violation of CUIPA, (2) when the proper standard is applied, the record sufficiently demonstrates that the defendant violated the relevant provisions of CUIPA, and (3) the evidence submitted by the plaintiff establishes that the defendant's unfair practices were part of a general business practice, as required under General Statutes § 38a-816 (6). We affirm the judgment of the court, albeit on different grounds.")

AC44560 - Pollard v. Geico General Ins. Co. (The plaintiff, Michelle J. Pollard, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant, Geico General Insurance Company, on the plaintiff's complaint seeking to recover underinsured motorist benefits. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly determined that the accidental failure of suit statute, General Statutes § 52-592 (a), did not apply so as to revive her otherwise time barred action. The defendant counters that summary judgment was appropriately rendered and asserts, as an alternative ground for affirmance of the court's judgment, that the plaintiff's action was barred because she failed under the terms of the parties' insurance policy to commence suit timely or to invoke the policy's tolling provision. We agree with the defendant's alternative argument and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court on that basis.)


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5133

AC44537 - Konover Development Corp. v. Waterbury Omega, LLC (“The defendant Waterbury Omega, LLC appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the application for a prejudgment remedy in favor of the plaintiff, Konover Development Corporation, upon a finding of probable cause that the defendant had breached an oral agreement for the plaintiff's procurement, management and accounting of building/rooftop wireless telecommunications agreements on behalf of the defendant. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly concluded that the plaintiff had established probable cause in light of its defenses that enforcement of the oral agreement was barred by (1) General Statutes § 20-325a, (2) the rule against perpetuities, and (3) the statute of frauds. We affirm the judgment of the court.”)


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5103

AC44436 - Brass Mill Center, LLC v. Subway Real Estate Corp. ("The defendant AlliedBarton Security Services, LLC, appeals from the judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the plaintiff, Brass Mill Center, LLC, granting summary judgment as to liability and awarding damages. The defendant argues that the trial court improperly concluded that it had a contractual duty (1) to defend the plaintiff in an underlying wrongful death action brought against the plaintiff and (2) to indemnify the plaintiff in that same wrongful death action, including for attorney’s fees and costs that the plaintiff incurred in pursuing claims against third parties. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Interpleader Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5094

AC44397 - Sargent, Sargent & Jacobs, LLC v. Thoele ("This interpleader action arises from a dispute between the defendant purchaser, Merwin, LLC (purchaser), and the defendant seller, Alan Thoele (seller), concerning a failed commercial real estate transaction. The seller appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the purchaser on its claims for breach of contract and return of deposit. On appeal, the seller claims that the court erred in concluding that (1) the parol evidence rule precluded consideration of a letter of intent from 2016, (2) the purchaser did not have actual knowledge of a potential sewer easement on the property, (3) the potential sewer easement was an encumbrance on the property, and (4) the seller's failure to disclose the potential sewer easement was a material breach of the purchase and sale agreement. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5081

AC44380 - Reiner v. Reiner (Declaratory judgment; contract interpretation; interest; settlement agreement; "In this declaratory judgment action, the defendant Michael D. Reiner appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff Jeffrey A. Reiner. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court erred in concluding that the term 'interest,' as used in the buyout provisions of the parties' settlement agreement (agreement), meant 'equitable interest' and, thus, that the buyout amount for the defendant's interests in certain parcels of real property is equal to his percentage interest in each property multiplied by the difference of the fair market value of the property minus any outstanding mortgage debt. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5068

AC44374 - Budlong & Budlong, LLC v. Zakko ("The defendant, Angham Zakko, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered following a hearing and report by an attorney fact finder, in favor of the plaintiff, Budlong & Budlong, LLC, on the plaintiff's complaint in the amount of $17,602.50. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly (1) overruled her objection to the attorney fact finder's report because the court failed to review the evidence considered by the attorney fact finder, and (2) rendered judgment in accordance with the attorney fact finder's report because the report contained insufficient factual findings. We agree with both of the defendant's claims and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the court.")

AC43463 - Mercedes-Benz Financial v. 1188 Stratford Ave, LLC ("The defendants, Aniello Dizenzo and his company, 1188 Stratford Ave, LLC (company), appeal from the judgment of the trial court denying their motion to open the default judgment rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Mercedes-Benz Financial. The defendants claim that the court abused its discretion by denying their (1) motion to open and (2) oral request to continue the hearing on the motion to allow the defendants to present testimony and evidence in support of it. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5052

AC44063 - Pointe Residential Builders BH, LLC v. TMP Construction Group, LLC (“This appeal arises out of a contract for the construction of a condominium complex in Greenwich. The defendants, TMP Construction Group, LLC (TMP), and Olin Paige III, appeal from the judgment of the trial court, rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Pointe Residential Builders BH, LLC, following a trial to the court. On appeal, the defendants claim that the court erred by rendering judgment for the plaintiff with respect to the plaintiff's count alleging a violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), General Statutes § 42-110a et seq., and the plaintiff's count alleging unjust enrichment. We conclude that the court did not improperly render judgment on the plaintiff's CUTPA claim. In light of this conclusion, we need not address the defendants' claims pertaining to the unjust enrichment claim. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.”)


Contract Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5047

SC20516 - Winakor v. Savalle (“This appeal requires us to consider whether certain services provided by a contractor fall under the purview of the Home Improvement Act, General Statutes § 20-418 et seq. In this appeal, the plaintiff, Lee Winakor, claims that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that the Home Improvement Act did not apply to work performed on his property by the defendant, Vincent Savalle. The defendant claims that the work falls under the new home exception of the Home Improvement Act and, therefore, that the Appellate Court's conclusion was correct. We agree with the defendant and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.”)


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5028

AC44777 - Jefferson Solar, LLC v. FuelCell Energy, Inc. (“The plaintiff, Jefferson Solar, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the motion to dismiss filed by the defendants, FuelCell Energy, Inc. FuelCell), and SCEF1 Fuel Cell, LLC (company). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly concluded that it lacked standing to maintain an action under the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), General Statutes § 42-110a et seq. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.”)


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5018

AC44056 - Barclays Bank Delaware v. Bamford (“In this debt collection action, the defendant, Diana L. Bamford, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, Suarez, J., following a hearing in damages, awarding the plaintiff, Barclays Bank Delaware, monetary relief in the amount of $5661.81 plus costs of $436.20. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court: (1) abused its discretion in denying her motion to disqualify the Honorable Matthew E. Frechette, a judge of the Superior Court, and in ruling on her motions to reargue and reconsider that denial; (2) improperly granted the plaintiff's motion for default for failure to disclose a defense; and (3) improperly admitted certain documents containing hearsay statements into evidence at the hearing in damages. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.”)