The mission of the Connecticut Judicial Branch is to serve the interests of justice and the public by resolving matters brought before it in a fair, timely, efficient and open manner.

Contract Law Appellate Court Opinions

by Roy, Christopher


AC38693 - EH Investment Co., LLC v. Chappo LLC ("The defendants, Chappo LLC and its principal, Richard J. Chappo, appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff, EH Investment Company, LLC, on those counts of the complaint alleging breach of contract by Chappo LLC and conversion by both defendants. The court determined that the defendants, whom the plaintiff had engaged to find a lender willing to make a commercial loan that the plaintiff needed in order to redeem a foreclosed office building it had owned, improperly refused to return the plaintiff’s deposit after the plaintiff informed them that it would be unable to proceed with a loan because it had not obtained a lease extension from the building’s primary tenant, the proceeds from which were intended to service the debt on the loan. The trial court determined that the existence of an executed lease with the tenant was a condition precedent to the parties’ loan procurement contract, the nonoccurrence of which excused the plaintiff’s performance and required Chappo LLC to return the plaintiff’s deposit. The court awarded the plaintiff total damages of $47,500, the amount of the deposit.

The defendants claim on appeal that the trial court improperly determined that the existence of a lease extension was a condition precedent to the parties’ contract. According to the defendants, the terms of the parties’ contract were memorialized in a written engagement letter drafted by Chappo, and Chappo LLC successfully performed its only duty under the parties’ contract by successfully finding a lender willing to make a loan on the terms sought by the plaintiff as set forth in the engagement letter. Further, they contend that because the engagement letter unambiguously set forth express terms governing the disposition of the engagement deposit, which did not include any provision requiring Chappo LLC to return the deposit if the plaintiff was unable to obtain a lease after Chappo LLC procured a commitment from a lender, they were entitled to keep the plaintiff’s deposit. For the reasons that follow, we agree with the defendants. Accordingly, we reverse in part the judgment of the trial court and remand the case to that court with direction to render judgment in favor of the defendants on the breach of contract and conversion counts. The remainder of the judgment is affirmed.")

AC38900 - American Express Bank, FSB v. Rutkowski ("The defendants, Krzysztof Rutkowski and Tri-City Trading, LLC, appeal from the judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the plaintiff, American Express Bank, FSB. On appeal, the defendants claim that the court improperly rendered summary judgment as to liability on the plaintiff’s claim of breach of a contractual credit agreement because the statute of frauds, General Statutes § 52-550 (a) (6), bars enforcement of the agreement. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")