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Contract Law

Civil Procedure Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3428

AC40785 - Premier Capital, LLC v. Shaw (Action on judgment; lack of standing; "The defendant, Jay Shaw, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, following a bench trial, rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Premier Capital, LLC (plaintiff LLC). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the present case as a result of the plaintiff LLC's lack of standing, (2) the court erred in determining that the plaintiff LLC established ownership of the prior judgment it sought to enforce because there were breaks in the chain of title, and (3) the court erred in concluding that his special defense was invalid. We agree with the defendant on the first claim and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40619 - Saint Francis Hospital & Medical Center v. Malley (Default judgment; "The defendant Tracy Malley appeals from the default judgment rendered against her in favor of the plaintiff, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, in this action to collect a debt for unpaid medical expenses incurred by Edward Malley. On appeal, the defendant claims that there was no basis for the entry of a default against her, and, therefore, the rendering of the default judgment was improper.The plaintiff, who prevailed before the trial court, did not file a brief, therefore, this appeal was considered on the basis of the defendant's brief, argument, appendix and record only. We agree with the defendant and reverse the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40424 - Ion Bank v. J.C.C. Custom Homes, LLC ("In this replevin action, the plaintiff, Ion Bank, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting a motion to dismiss filed by the defendants, J.C.C. Custom Homes, LLC (J.C.C.), Rock On Excavation Services, LLC (Rock On), John C. Ciappetta, and Dawn E. Ciappetta. The court concluded that the plaintiff lacked standing to bring the action because, prior to commencing it, the plaintiff had assigned its interest in the underlying promissory note to Nutmeg Financial Holdings, LLC (Nutmeg), and, therefore, the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3414

AC41198 - A1Z7, LLC v. Dombek (Unjust enrichment; application for prejudgment remedy; whether trial court properly concluded that statute (47a-26b) awarding use and occupancy payments in summary process actions did not prohibit recovery of retroactive use and occupancy payments in separate action; "General Statutes § 47a-26b permits a property owner in a summary process action to seek the fair rental value of the premises occupied by a defendant during the pendency of a summary process action. The central issue in this case is whether § 47a-26b provides the exclusive remedy and, therefore, preempts an owner's ability to seek payment from the occupier for unjust enrichment for the reasonable value of the premises occupied for a time period for which § 47a-26b would not permit an order of use and occupancy payments. Because the language of the statute does not plainly and unambiguously foreclose other common-law remedies such as unjust enrichment and an exercise of that common-law remedy would not conflict with the purpose of the statute, we conclude that it is not foreclosed.

The defendant . . . appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting a prejudgment remedy in favor of the plaintiff, A1Z7, LLC. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court erred in granting the plaintiff's application for a prejudgment remedy because (1) § 47a-26b prohibits the recovery of use and occupancy payments in this action, (2) the prior pending action doctrine is a bar, and (3) res judicata and collateral estoppel warranted dismissal of the application. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3396

AC40333 - Miller v. Board of Education ("The plaintiff, Josephine Miller, appeals from the judgment rendered by the trial court following its granting of the motion to dismiss filed by the defendants, the Board of Education of the City of Bridgeport (board), Mark Anastasi, and the City of Bridgeport (city). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred in dismissing the action as untimely because it was saved by the accidental failure of suit statute, General Statutes § 52-592 (a), and, therefore, should have been allowed to proceed. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3382

AC40782 - MacCalla v. American Medical Response of Connecticut, Inc. (Promissory estoppel; "The plaintiffs, Gordon MacCalla, Alexis Scianna, Tyler Grailich, John Cronin, Timothy J. Yurksaitis, and Cate Saidler, appeal from the judgment of the trial court dismissing their action against the defendant, American Medical Response of Connecticut, Inc., as a sanction for the unprofessional and dilatory conduct of the plaintiffs' counsel, Attorney Irving Pinsky, during discovery. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the trial court erred in dismissing (1) the plaintiffs' case solely on the basis of counsel's conduct and (2) the claim of MacCalla, who had in fact complied with his discovery obligations and was not named in defendant's motion for nonsuit. We agree with the plaintiffs' second claim and reverse the judgment of dismissal as to MacCalla. We affirm the judgment of dismissal in all other respects.")


Contract Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3349

SC20154 - Restaurant Supply, LLC v. Giardi Ltd. Partnership ("The present appeal requires us to consider whether a plaintiff has sufficiently pleaded that a transaction was an auction without reserve by simply alleging that the owner of the real property for sale sought highest and best offers from potential buyers and the plaintiff submitted the highest and best offer, and, if so, whether an auction without reserve for the sale of real property creates an enforceable agreement constituting an exception to the statute of frauds. The plaintiff, Restaurant Supply, LLC, appeals from the trial court's judgment rendered after it had granted motions to strike by the defendants, Giardi Limited Partnership (Giardi) and Hartford Auto Park, LLC (Hartford Auto Park). The court determined that the plaintiff failed to allege that Giardi's request that potential buyers of its property, 19 and 43 West Service Road, Hartford (property), submit their highest and best offers constituted an auction without reserve and, thus, created an exception to the requirement under the statute of frauds that there be a 'writing . . . signed by the party . . . to be charged . . . .' General Statutes § 52-550 (a). The parties disagree as to whether the plaintiff's allegation that Giardi's request for '"[h]ighest and [b]est" offers' constitutes 'explicit terms' that Giardi was putting the property up for auction without reserve for purposes of General Statutes § 42a-2-328 (3). We conclude that, under the facts of this case, the plaintiff's allegations are insufficient to allege an auction without reserve, and, as such, we do not resolve the issue of whether an exception to the statute of frauds should be created for auctions without reserve.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3328

AC40450 - Watson Real Estate, LLC v. Woodland Ridge, LLC ("This action arises out of an escrow agreement entered into by the parties in conjunction with the purchase of a lot in a residential subdivision owned by the defendant Woodland Ridge, LLC. The plaintiff, Watson Real Estate, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered following a bench trial, in favor of the defendant on the plaintiff's breach of contract claim, as well as from the court's subsequent order denying the plaintiff's request for leave to amend its revised complaint. The plaintiff claims on appeal that the court (1) improperly failed to find that there was a meeting of the minds between the parties as to the specifications of the common driveway that the defendant was required, under the escrow agreement, to install within the subdivision, (2) improperly failed to find that the defendant breached the escrow agreement by not reimbursing the plaintiff for costs it incurred in relation to certain work that the defendant was required under the agreement to complete, and (3) abused its discretion in denying the plaintiff's request for leave to amend its revised complaint to conform to the evidence adduced at trial. 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=3320

AC39910 - Hoffkins v. Hart-D'Amato ("In this action for the collection of unpaid legal fees, the named defendant, Dianne Hart-D'Amato, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a jury trial, in favor of the plaintiff, Kevin L. Hoffkins. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court abused its discretion when it (1) denied her motion for disqualification of the trial judge, and (2) precluded relevant evidence offered by the defendant. We disagree and, accordingly, 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=3310

AC40708 - Designs for Health, Inc. v. Miller ("The plaintiff, Designs for Health, Inc., appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the motion to dismiss filed by the defendant, Mark Miller. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly concluded that it lacked personal jurisdiction over the defendant because the plaintiff failed to establish that the defendant had signed electronically an agreement in which the parties expressly agreed to submit to the jurisdiction of state and federal courts in Connecticut. We agree with the plaintiff and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3291

AC41648 - U.S. Equities Corp. v. Ceraldi ("The defendant, Peggy Ceraldi, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the postjudgment motion for clarification filed by the plaintiff, U.S. Equities Corp., regarding the postjudgment interest rate to be applied to the judgment rendered against the defendant in the underlying debt collection action. The defendant claims that the court's clarification actually was an improper substantive modification of the judgment. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment setting the rate of postjudgment interest.")

AC40173, AC40434 - Konover v. Kolakowski ("This action arises from the indemnification provisions in a stock purchase and sales agreement (agreement) between the plaintiff Michael Konover and the defendants Michael Kolakowski, Simon Etzel, and Eric Brown (the buyers) for the buyers’ purchase of Konover's stock in the KBE Building Corporation (KBE). The plaintiffs appeal from the trial court's rendering of partial summary judgment in favor of the defendants. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the trial court erroneously ruled that the parties' agreement does not obligate the defendants to reimburse Konover for legal fees incurred while litigating certain legal actions that had been pending against Konover and KBE at the time the agreement was executed. In the alternative, the plaintiffs claim that, even if the language of the agreement does not require the defendants to reimburse Konover for any legal fees, the trial court should have considered admissions in the defendants' pleadings and other extrinsic evidence, which evinced an understanding between the parties that the defendants were responsible for paying their own legal fees incurred in conjunction with the referenced litigation. 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=3274

AC40282 - Bruno v. Whipple ("This case returns to us following a remand to the trial court for a hearing in damages. See Bruno v. Whipple, 162 Conn. App. 186, 130 A.3d 899 (2015), cert. denied, 321 Conn. 901, 138 A.3d 280 (2016).The self-represented plaintiff, Lisa Bruno, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant Heritage Homes Construction Company, LLC. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court (1) improperly concluded that she failed to prove actual damages resulting from the defendant's breach of a residential construction contract and (2) exceeded the scope of the remand order. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Business Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3265

AC39973 - DE Auto Transport, Inc. v. Eurolite, LLC (Wrongful repossession, statutory theft; "The plaintiff, DE Auto Transport, Inc., appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a trial to the court, in favor of the defendants, Eurolite, LLC (Eurolite), and Leopold Zayaczkowski. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred in its damages analysis. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3262

SC20010 - Browning v. Van Brunt, DuBiago & Co., LLC ("The sole question presented in this appeal is whether the trust beneficiaries are the proper parties to bring an action against third parties on behalf of the trust. The plaintiffs—Ann Browning, Richard Browning, Lance Browning, Karen Guinta, and Jill Milligan—are beneficiaries of a trust, and appeal from the judgment of the trial court dismissing their breach of contract claim against the defendants Dougherty & Company, LLC (Dougherty), the financial advisor for the trust, and Thomas Olander, an employee of Dougherty. Although the parties agree that the general rule is that beneficiaries of a trust lack standing to bring an action against a third party for liability to the trust, they disagree that the general rule applies under the facts of the present case. See 4 Restatement (Third), Trusts, § 107, p. 102 (2012). Specifically, the plaintiffs claim that they fit within an exception that allows beneficiaries to bring an action against third parties if the trustee improperly refuses or neglects to do so. The defendants respond that the plaintiffs do not fit within the exception to the general rule because they failed to demand that the current trustee bring an action and they did not allege in their complaint that the current trustee improperly neglected to sue the defendants. The defendants further argue that, because standing implicates subject matter jurisdiction, they properly raised the issue by way of a motion to dismiss. We conclude that the trial court properly determined that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the claim and, therefore, that the trial court properly granted the motion to dismiss. Accordingly, 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=3229

AC38325 - Seven Oaks Enterprises, L.P. v. DeVito ("The defendant Sherri DeVito appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered, after a jury trial, in favor of the plaintiffs, Seven Oaks Enterprises, L.P. (SOE), and Seven Oaks Management Corporation (SOM), on two counts alleging breach of contract and one count alleging breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The jury awarded $1.325 million in damages to the plaintiffs. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) abused its discretion in denying the defendant's motion to set aside the verdict and her motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict because the plaintiffs did not produce the original note at trial, there was insufficient evidence that the note was lost, and the plaintiffs did not have the right to enforce the note; (2) incorrectly instructed the jury regarding SOM's right to enforce the note; (3) lacked subject matter jurisdiction over SOE because it did not have the legal capacity to commence and continue the action; and (4) abused its discretion in denying her motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and in refusing to set aside the verdict because neither plaintiff had a right to enforce the management contract, the alleged breaches did not cause any loss to the plaintiffs, and the jury could not determine with reasonable certainty the amount of damages sustained. We affirm the judgment as to SOE's claim regarding breach of the management contract and reverse as to SOE's claim of breach of contract regarding the note and all of SOM's claims.")


Contract Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3211

SC19970 - Suntech of Connecticut, Inc. v. Lawrence Brunoli, Inc. ("The plaintiff, Suntech of Connecticut, Inc., a Connecticut corporation that fabricates and installs glass and curtain walls, brought an action against the named defendant Lawrence Brunoli, Inc., a general contractor, and the defendant Safeco Insurance Company of America, a bonding company, alleging, inter alia, breach of its subcontract to provide labor and materials in connection with the construction of a technology center at Naugatuck Valley Community College, which is owned by the state. See Suntech of Connecticut, Inc. v. Lawrence Brunoli, Inc., 173 Conn. App. 321, 324–25, 164 A.3d 36 (2017). The plaintiff now appeals, upon our grant of its petition for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a trial to the court, in favor of the defendants. Id., 324. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the Appellate Court improperly concluded that the trial court had not committed harmful error when it (1) precluded the plaintiff's fact witness, Rick Cianfaglione, an independent consultant who had been hired by the state to evaluate the scheduling and duration of the construction project, from testifying as to his observations and perceptions about the project site, and (2) refused to permit the plaintiff's counsel to make an offer of proof, including by disregarding relevant portions of Cianfaglione's deposition transcript.

After examining the entire record on appeal and considering the briefs and oral arguments of the parties, we have determined that the appeal in this case should be dismissed on the ground that certification was improvidently granted.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3198

AC40205 - Bongiorno v. Capone ("The defendant, Joseph Capone, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered in accordance with the second revised finding of facts and report of an attorney trial referee (referee) to whom this case was referred for trial, awarding the plaintiff, Frank Bongiorno: compensatory damages of $17,000 on the plaintiff's claim of breach of contract, plus statutory prejudgment interest on that sum, under General Statutes § 37-3a, at the rate of 10 percent per annum; and treble damages of $51,000 on the plaintiff's claim of statutory theft under General Statutes § 52-564, less $17,000 to avoid duplication of the damages awarded for breach of contract. The defendant claims that the court improperly: (1) concluded that the plaintiff had standing in his individual capacity to pursue claims of breach of contract and statutory theft against the defendant based upon his withdrawal of $17,000 from the checking account of AAA Advantage Carting & Demolition Service, LLC (company), a limited liability company in which the defendant had a 50 percent membership interest that he had agreed to sell to the plaintiff for $200,000 on the basis of a binding term sheet that did not authorize the challenged withdrawal; (2) rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiff on the merits of his breach of contract claim without making legal conclusions as to the applicability of the waiver-of-suit provisions in the contractual documents to that claim; and (3) rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiff on the merits of his statutory theft claim.")


Landlord/Tenant Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3182

AC40187 - Kaye v. Housman ("In this housing court matter, the defendant, Douglas Housman, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Richelle Kaye, following a hearing in damages. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) improperly held a hearing in damages in view of his operative answer and four special defenses and (2) denied him the right to due process because the court did not adjudicate fully his timely filed answer and four special defenses. We reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3168

AC39649 - Ajluni v. Chainani ("The defendant, Steve Sudhir Chainani, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, in which it concluded that he breached his guaranty obligation to the plaintiff, Jack Ajluni. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly determined that the applicable statute of limitations did not bar the action because (1) the relation back doctrine applied to the plaintiff’s claim and (2) certain communications between the plaintiff and the defendant reaffirmed the debt so as to toll the statute of limitations on the plaintiff’s claim. We conclude that certain e-mails exchanged between the parties reaffirmed the debt and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39942 - Downing v. Dragone ("The plaintiff, Christine Downing, brought this action to recover money owed for services she is alleged to have rendered in accordance with an agreement she had with the defendant Dragone Classic Motorcars, Inc. After a trial to the court, the court found in favor of the plaintiff on her breach of contract claim and rendered judgment accordingly. On appeal, the defendant principally claims that the trial court based its legal conclusions on a clearly erroneous finding of fact. We agree with the defendant and, therefore, reverse in part the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for further proceedings.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3109

AC40164 - Abrams v. PH Architects, LLC ("This appeal arises out of a dispute between a homeowner and the architectural firm and general contractor that he hired to design and perform substantial renovations to his home and surrounding property in Greenwich. The plaintiff, Marc Abrams, appeals, following a trial to the court, from the judgment rendered against him on his complaint and on the counterclaims of the defendants, PH Architects, LLC (PH), and V.A.S. Construction, Inc. (VAS). The plaintiff claims on appeal that the court improperly (1) failed to enforce provisions in his contracts with VAS and PH related to the processing of change orders and invoices; (2) failed to find that VAS had breached a separate contract governing the construction of a stone wall and fence on the property; (3) failed to enforce provisions in his contract with PH pursuant to which PH agreed to provide contract administration services; (4) failed to conclude that PH was liable for professional negligence because it had breached the professional standard of care for architects; and (5) made clearly erroneous factual findings with respect to a ‘punch list’ that was prepared on behalf of the plaintiff by a third party. We are not persuaded by the plaintiff’s claims and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the court.")

AC39617 - National Waste Associates, LLC v. Scharf ("The plaintiff, National Waste Associates, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered, in part, in favor of the defendants, Danielle Scharf, Carl Slusarczyk, Waste Harmonics, LLC (Waste Harmonics), and Omega Waste Management, Inc. (Omega). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly concluded that (1) the plaintiff could not prevail on its unjust enrichment claims, (2) a nonsolicitation provision in agreements between the plaintiff and its former employees was unenforceable as to its prospective customers, and (3) General Statutes § 35-57 (a) bars its claims under the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), General Statutes § 42-110a et seq. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3099

AC39966 - Hilario's Truck Center, LLC v. Rinaldi ("The principal issue in this appeal is whether a company that provided automobile towing services to an insured motorist has standing as a third-party beneficiary to bring a direct breach of contract action against the insurance company that provided automobile liability coverage to the insured. We conclude, under the circumstances of this case, that the company is not an intended third-party beneficiary of the insurance contract and therefore lacks standing to bring a direct action against the insurer.")


Landlord / Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3100

AC39847 - Magee Avenue, LLC v. Lima Ceramic Tile, LLC ("The plaintiff, Magee Avenue, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendering summary judgment in favor of the defendant, Moufid Makhraz, on the plaintiff’s complaint alleging two counts of breach of contract and one count of unjust enrichment. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly (1) rendered summary judgment because the defendant’s affidavit in support of the defendants’ motion for summary judgment was untimely and insufficient; (2) permitted and considered the defendant’s testimony during the hearing on the motion; and (3) permitted the defendant to amend orally his motion for summary judgment to include all counts when the written motion only sought relief from the two counts of breach of contract. We agree with the plaintiff’s claims and reverse the judgment.")


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