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Contract Law

Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4655

AC44098 - Medical Device Solutions, LLC v. Aferzon (Breach of Contract; CUTPA; "The defendants claim that the trial court improperly concluded (1) that the parties entered into a definite and enforceable contract to make the subject payments in exchange for the plaintiff's work, (2) that payments received by the defendants for the sale and/or licensing of an anterior spinal fusion device known as the Solus, which was based on a design patented by the individual defendant after his alleged contract with the plaintiff had been entered into, were covered by the contract, (3) that all statutes of limitations applicable to the plaintiff's claims for relief in this case were tolled under the fraudulent concealment doctrine and/or the continuing course of conduct doctrine, and (4) that the plaintiff was entitled to recover attorney's fees from the defendants under CUTPA based upon the defendants' bad faith breaches of the parties' alleged contract. The plaintiff cross appeals from the trial court's judgment awarding it offer of compromise interest on its judgment against the defendants, arguing that the court improperly calculated the amount of such interest to which it was entitled. On the defendants' appeal, we affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court. On the plaintiff's cross appeal, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for further proceedings with instructions to recalculate the amount of offer of compromise interest to which the plaintiff is entitled in accordance with this opinion.")


Contract Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4650

SC20473 - Meribear Productions, Inc. v. Frank ("This appeal arises out of a dispute between the plaintiff, Meribear Productions, Inc., doing business as Meridith Baer and Associates, and the defendants, Joan E. Frank and George A. Frank, in connection with a contract for the design, decoration, and staging for sale of the defendants' residence at 3 Cooper Lane in Westport. After the plaintiff staged the defendants' home by installing rental furniture, antiques, art, and home décor for the purpose of enhancing its appearance and, thereby, its prospects for sale, the defendants defaulted on their contractual payment obligations to the plaintiff. The plaintiff, a California company, obtained a default judgment against the defendants in its home state and thereafter filed an action in the Superior Court in Connecticut seeking to enforce the California judgment or, alternatively, to recover under the theories of breach of contract or quantum meruit. The trial court rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiff against George Frank on the count seeking to enforce the California judgment and in favor of the plaintiff against Joan Frank on the breach of contract count. On appeal, the defendants claim that (1) the California judgment is unenforceable for lack of personal jurisdiction, (2) the contract is unenforceable under the Home Solicitation Sales Act (HSSA), General Statutes § 42-134a et seq., and (3) the amount of damages awarded by the trial court was improper. We 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=4643

AC43285 - NRT New England, LLC v. Longo ("The defendants Salvatore R. Longo, Anthony Longo, Salvatore Longo & Sons, LLC, and the estate of Salvatore Longo, Jr., appeal from the judgment of the trial court, rendered following a trial to the court, in favor of the plaintiff, NRT New England, LLC, doing business as Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, relating to the sale of commercial property owned by the defendants. On appeal, the defendants claim that the court erred in (1) concluding that the plaintiff had standing to bring an action for a real estate commission, (2) finding that the defendants breached the operative exclusive right to sell listing agreement, and (3) concluding that the defendants had violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), General Statutes § 42-110a et seq. Although we disagree with the defendants' standing claim, we agree with their second and third claims. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.")

AC43158 - Onofrio v. Mineri ("In this new home construction dispute, the defendants Joseph Mineri (Mineri) and Timberwood Homes, LLC (Timberwood), appeal from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a bench trial, in favor of the plaintiffs, Daniel Onofrio and Elsie Onofrio, against (1) Mineri and Timberwood on the plaintiffs' claim pursuant to the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), General Statutes § 42-110a et seq., and (2) Timberwood on the plaintiffs' claim pursuant to the New Home Warranties Act (warranties act), General Statutes § 47-116 et seq. We affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")

AC42244 - United Concrete Products, Inc. v. NJR Construction, LLC ("This appeal arises out of the delayed construction of a bridge over the Hockanum River on Route 74 in Vernon. The plaintiff subcontractor, United Concrete Products, Inc., appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered as to certain claims in favor of the defendants, NJR Construction, LLC (NJR), as general contractor, and Aegis Security Insurance Company (Aegis), as surety. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly: (1) calculated its award of damages to NJR on the breach of contract count of NJR's counterclaim; (2) concluded that NJR did not fail to mitigate its damages; (3) failed to render judgment against Aegis on the plaintiff's payment bond claim and award interest and attorney's fees pursuant to General Statutes § 49-42; (4) failed to render judgment against NJR on the plaintiff's claim for interest and attorney's fees pursuant to General Statutes § 49-41a; (5) concluded that the plaintiff's conduct violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), General Statutes § 42-110a et seq.; and (6) awarded attorney's fees to NJR pursuant to the parties' purchase order agreement. Addressing these various contentions, we agree with the plaintiff's third claim and reverse the judgment of the trial court only with respect to count three of the complaint. We affirm the judgment in all other respects.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4646

AC43958 - Strazza Building & Construction, Inc. v Harris (Foreclosure of mechanic's lien; "The defendants appeal from the judgment of the trial court denying their motion for summary judgment against the plaintiff, Strazza Building & Construction, Inc. (Strazza). The defendants claim that the court improperly denied their motion for summary judgment, which was predicated on a claim that the action is barred by the doctrine of res judicata. In the alternative, the defendants claim that the court erred in failing to find that Strazza's claims fail as a result of the application of collateral estoppel. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4601

SC20338 - North Sails Group, LLC v. Boards & More GMBH ("This appeal requires us to consider whether, consistent with due process, a court of this state may properly exercise personal jurisdiction over the foreign national defendant in this breach of contract action when the resident plaintiff has alleged that its long-term, contractual relationship with the defendant created sufficient minimum contacts with Connecticut. The plaintiff, North Sails Group, LLC, appeals from the judgment of dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction over the defendants, Boards and More GmbH (B&M) and Emeram Capital Partners GmbH (Emeram). The plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly concluded that exercising personal jurisdiction over the defendants would violate their right to due process. Although we recognize that this is a close case, we conclude that the plaintiff has failed to demonstrate that the defendants had sufficient minimum contacts with Connecticut, and, thus, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4576

AC44026 - Cocchia v. Testa ("The defendant Robert J. Testa, Jr., trustee (trustee) of the Karen M. Testa Separate Property Trust (trust), appeals from the trial court's denial of his postjudgment motion to dismiss the action in which a default judgment had been rendered against him. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court lacked personal jurisdiction over him and, therefore, improperly denied his motion to dismiss. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4554

AC43549 - Regional School District 8 v. M & S Paving & Sealing, Inc. (Breach of contract; damages; whether trial court erred in concluding that defendant's unworkmanlike performance proximately caused plaintiff's damages; "The defendant, M & S Paving and Sealing, Inc., appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Regional School District 8, following a trial to the court on the plaintiff's breach of contract claim for defective work. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) erred when it found, in the absence of expert testimony, that the defendant's work proximately caused the alleged defects, and (2) improperly calculated the amount of damages awarded to the plaintiff. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Employment Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4551

SC20533 - Gallagher v. Fairfield ("This case requires that we construe a collective bargaining agreement between the named defendant, the town of Fairfield, and its police union. The agreement took effect in 1985, at a time when federal law did not permit municipal employees to participate in the Medicare system. The agreement provides that union members who retired early due to disability, such as the plaintiff, James G. Gallagher, as well as their eligible dependents, would be entitled to town paid private health insurance. The question presented is whether, following an intervening change in federal law that permits the plaintiff and other similarly situated retirees to enroll in Medicare upon reaching the age of sixty-five, the town may terminate their private health insurance, provide them with comparable town paid Medicare supplemental insurance, and require that they bear the costs of their Medicare premiums. The defendants have appealed, and the plaintiff has cross appealed, from the judgment of the trial court, which concluded that the town may require the plaintiff and his wife to enroll in Medicare but, in addition to paying for their Medicare supplemental insurance and any uncovered medical expenses, must also reimburse the costs of their Medicare Part B premiums. We agree with the former conclusion but hold that the town is not required to reimburse the Gallaghers for their Medicare premium costs. Accordingly, we affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4542

AC43984 - Warzecha v. USAA Casulty Ins. Co. ("The plaintiff, Keith Warzecha, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court, Noble, J., in favor of the defendant, USAA Casualty Insurance Company, on the plaintiff's two count amended complaint, which alleged breach of contract and sought a declaratory judgment. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred in concluding that he was not entitled to liability coverage under the terms of his insurance policy. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4529

AC43949 - Onthank v. Onthank ("The self-represented defendants, Pierce Onthank and Susan Onthank, appeal from the judgment of the trial court, rendered following a bench trial, in favor of the self-represented plaintiff, John B. Onthank, on count one of his second revised complaint asserting a breach of contract claim. On appeal, the defendants claim that the court erred in (1) rejecting their special defense asserting that the contract at issue — a promissory note — was unenforceable because the plaintiff did not provide them with a notice of default in strict compliance with the terms of the note and, thus, failed to satisfy a condition precedent to the enforcement thereof, and (2) awarding the plaintiff damages on the breach of contract claim because the court improperly declined to credit them $120,000 to account for the purported value of one million shares of stock transferred to the plaintiff. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Business Law Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4528

AC43619 - Villanueva v. Villanueva ("In this case arising from a dispute between two brothers who operated a landscaping business together, the defendant, Rafael Villanueva, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a court trial, in favor of the plaintiff, Javier Villanueva, and awarding the plaintiff damages in the amount of one half of the value of the business assets that the defendant maintained following the dissolution of that business. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court erred in finding that (1) an implied partnership existed between the parties, (2) the plaintiff provided credible evidence of his damages, and (3) the plaintiff’s action was not barred by the statute of limitations. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4485

AC38167, AC38440, AC38442 - Reserve Realty, LLC v. Windemere Reserve, LLC ("These appeals, which return to us on remand from our Supreme Court, presently require us to determine whether certain real estate listing agreements are unenforceable because they fail to comply with the requirement contained in General Statutes § 20-325a that such agreements specify the duration of the authorization. Specifically, the plaintiffs, The Reserve Realty, LLC (Reserve Realty), and Theodore Haddad, Sr., as executor of the estate of Jeanette Haddad, seek to recover real estate brokerage fees (commissions) in connection with the sale and/or lease of (1) units in an apartment complex constructed and leased by the defendant BLT Reserve, LLC (BLT), and (2) commercial office space not yet constructed by the defendant Windemere Reserve, LLC (Windemere). For the reasons we set forth, we conclude that the trial court properly determined that the listing agreements are unenforceable because they fail to comply with § 20-325a and, accordingly, affirm the judgments of the trial court.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4455

AC43376 - Marco v. Starr Indemnity & Liability Co. ("The plaintiff, Lindsey Marco, appeals from the judgment rendered in favor of the defendant, Starr Indemnity and Liability Company, on the ground that the defendant had no duty to defend its insured, Copa Entertainment Group, LLC (Copa Entertainment), the owner and operator of Zen Bar (bar), the location where the plaintiff had sustained injuries for which she had been awarded damages by an arbitrator in a separate action (underlying action). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court (1) erred in ordering a court trial on the legal issue of whether the defendant had a duty to defend Copa Entertainment when summary judgment previously had been denied on that issue, (2) improperly deprived her of a jury trial on the issue of whether the defendant had a duty to defend its insured, and (3) should have recused itself from this case to avoid the appearance of impropriety after it was involved in pretrial settlement negotiations. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4444

AC43135 - O & G Industries, Inc. v. American Home Assurance Co. ("The defendant, American Home Assurance Company, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff, O & G Industries, Inc., finding that the plaintiff was entitled to payment under certain bonds issued by the defendant as surety, including a payment bond and a bond (substitute bond) that had been substituted for the discharge of a mechanic's lien filed by the plaintiff in connection with materials it had furnished for a construction project. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court erred by (1) failing to find that the plaintiff breached its obligation of "diligence and utmost good faith" owed to the defendant, (2) finding that the plaintiff satisfied the condition precedent to the payment bond, (3) allowing the plaintiff to recover beyond the penal sum of the mechanic's lien bond, and (4) allowing the plaintiff to put on a rebuttal case after the defendant had rested its case without calling any witnesses or introducing any evidence. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4435

SC20481 - Hernandez v. Apple Auto Wholesalers of Waterbury, LLC ("General Statutes § 52-572g (a) provides in relevant part that '[a]ny holder in due course of a promissory note, contract or other instrument . . . executed by a buyer in connection with a credit transaction covering consumer goods . . . shall be subject to all of the claims and defenses which the buyer has against the seller arising out of the transaction . . . limited to the amount of indebtedness then outstanding in connection with the credit transaction, provided the buyer shall have made a prior written demand on the seller with respect to the transaction.' In the present case, which comes to us on certification from the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut; see General Statutes § 51-199b (d); we must decide when 'the amount of indebtedness then outstanding in connection with the credit transaction' is determined for purposes of limiting an assignee's liability under § 52-572g. We also must decide whether an assignee can avoid liability under the statute by reassigning the promissory note, contract or other instrument back to the seller and, if so, by when must the assignee reassign it to avoid liability. Finally, we must determine whether, if a retail installment contract includes the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 'holder rule' language mandated by 16 C.F.R. § 433.2, an assignee's liability under that rule is cumulative to its liability under § 52-572g. We conclude that 'the amount of indebtedness then outstanding' is the amount of indebtedness outstanding at the time of the buyer's written demand on the seller and that an assignee can avoid liability under § 52-572g only if the promissory note, contract or other instrument is reassigned back to the seller prior to the buyer making such demand. We further conclude that an assignee's liability under the FTC holder rule is cumulative to its liability under § 52-572g.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4434

AC43682 - Property Tax Management, LLC v. Worldwide Properties, LLC ("In this breach of contract action, the defendants appeal from the judgment, rendered after a trial to the court, in favor of the plaintiff, Property Tax Management, LLC, requiring that the defendants pay the plaintiff for services performed pursuant to a contract between the parties. On appeal, the defendants claim that the court erred in determining that a valid and enforceable contract existed between the parties that did not call for the illegal practice of law. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC43962 - Smernoff v. Star Tire & Wheel ("This appeal arises out of a breach of contract action by the plaintiff David Smernoff against the defendant, Star Tire and Wheel d/b/a Star Tires Plus Wheels, LLC. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred in awarding damages to the plaintiff in the amount of $8918.98. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4429

SC20548 - Kelly Services, Inc. v. Senior Network, Inc. ("The sole issue in this appeal is whether the trial court properly awarded postjudgment, offer of compromise interest to the plaintiff, Kelly Services, Inc., under General Statutes § 52-192a and Practice Book § 17-18. We conclude that the trial court's award of postjudgment, offer of compromise interest was improper under our holding in Gionfriddo v. Avis Rent A Car System, Inc., 192 Conn. 301, 307–308, 472 A.2d 316 (1984), and therefore reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4422

AC43793 - Eichler v. Healthy Mom, LLC ("The plaintiff, David Eichler, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a court trial in favor of the defendant, Healthy Mom, LLC. On appeal, the plaintiff claims, in essence, that the court erred in (1) finding in favor of the defendant on its special defense of waiver, and (2) determining that the defendant had standing to assert rights under certain extension agreements. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC42893 - Asnat Realty, LLC v. United Illuminating Co. ("The plaintiffs, Asnat Realty, LLC (Asnat), and Evergreen Power, LLC (Evergreen), appeal from the judgment of the trial court, Lee, J., rendered after the court granted, in part, the defendants' motion to strike certain portions of their revised complaint (complaint). Specifically, the trial court granted the defendants' motion to strike counts one, three, five, six, seven, eight, nine, and ten of the complaint, pleading counts of fraud as to the various defendants, and count four, pleading unjust enrichment against the defendant UIL Holdings Corporation (UIL). On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court erred in granting the motion because (1) the complaint sufficiently pleaded claims for both fraudulent nondisclosure and fraudulent misrepresentation, (2) the defendants had a duty to the plaintiffs to disclose truthful information, (3) the complaint pleaded the fraud claims with the requisite specificity, (4) the complaint adequately alleged that the plaintiffs relied on the defendants' misrepresentations and nondisclosure to their detriment, and (5) the complaint adequately stated causes of action against the defendants. We are not persuaded and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4405

AC42524 - Stone Key Group, LLC v. Taradash ("This case involves a dispute between the plaintiff employer, Stone Key Group, LLC, and the defendant employee, Reid Taradash, concerning the payment of two discretionary bonus agreements to the defendant. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly (1) ruled in favor of the plaintiff on his wage claim pursuant to General Statutes § 31-72, (2) concluded that he fraudulently induced the plaintiff into paying an advance on his 2015 bonus, (3) permitted the plaintiff to rescind that advance, (4) awarded the plaintiff punitive damages, and (5) assessed postjudgment interest. In its cross appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly (1) rejected its claim that the defendant breached the terms of an agreement regarding his 2014 bonus, (2) denied its motion for prejudgment interest, and (3) failed to award the full amount of its requested attorney's fees and costs. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Arbitration Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4400

SC20386 - A Better Way Wholesale Autos, Inc. v. Saint Paul ("This certified appeal requires us to determine the statutory time limitation applicable to a motion to vacate an arbitration award brought in state court when review of the underlying arbitration is governed by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), 9 U.S.C. § 1 et seq., pursuant to a private arbitration agreement. This determination presents two issues. First, we consider whether the Connecticut thirty day time limitation applicable to a motion to vacate an arbitration award, General Statutes § 52-420 (b), implicates the subject matter jurisdiction of our courts. Second, we consider whether this state’s law is preempted by the FAA as a result of an actual conflict between the different time limitations contained in the two statutes.")


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