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Tort Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

by Mazur, Catherine


SC19683 - Sepega v. DeLaura (Negligence; "The common-law firefighter's rule provides, in general terms, that a firefighter or police officer who enters private property in the exercise of his or her duties generally cannot bring a civil action against the property owner for injuries sustained as the result of a defect in the premises. See Levandoski v. Cone, 267 Conn. 651, 653–54, 841 A.2d 208 (2004). The principal issue in this appeal is whether the firefighter's rule should be extended beyond the scope of premises liability so as to bar a police officer from recovering, under a theory of ordinary negligence, from a homeowner who is also an alleged active tortfeasor. The plaintiff, Robert Sepega, a municipal police officer, appeals from the judgment of the trial court in favor of the defendant, Lawrence R. DeLaura, following the granting of a motion to strike. In granting that motion, the trial court concluded that the firefighter's rule barred the plaintiff's sole claim, which sounded in ordinary negligence. We conclude that the firefighter's rule should not be extended beyond claims of premises liability and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court in favor of the defendant and remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings.")

  • SC19683 - Sepega v. DeLaura Concurrence

SC19834 - Lund v. Milford Hospital, Inc. (Negligence; "The plaintiff, Justin Lund, a Connecticut state trooper, brought this action against the defendant, Milford Hospital, Inc., seeking damages for personal injuries sustained while subduing an emotionally disturbed person, Dale Pariseau, who had been committed to the defendant's custody on an emergency basis for psychiatric evaluation. The plaintiff has alleged that the defendant was negligent in numerous ways, including (1) failing to supervise or restrain Pariseau properly, (2) failing to provide for adequate security in the area where foreseeably dangerous patients are held, (3) allowing Pariseau, who was known to be dangerous, to go to the bathroom unrestrained and unaccompanied, and (4) failing to train its staff properly...."

"On appeal, the plaintiff claims primarily that, under this court's subsequent decision in Levandoski v. Cone, 267 Conn. 651, 841 A.2d 208 (2004), the firefighter's rule does not bar police officers from bringing negligence claims in nonpremises liability cases for injuries suffered during the performance of their duties. The plaintiff also claims that the trial court erred in sustaining the objection to the substitute complaint because the allegations set forth therein were materially different from his original complaint. For the reasons that follow, we reverse the judgement of the trial court and remand the case for further proceedings. ")

  • SC19834 - Lund v. Milford Hospital, Inc. Dissent

AC38287 - Pecher v. Distefano (Negligence; "The plaintiff, Stefana Pecher, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, following a jury trial, rendered in favor of the defendant, Rhea Distefano. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court committed harmful error, requiring a new trial, by admitting a document, titled "Release and Hold Harmless Agreement," and a photograph of a sign (photo), both of which, at least in part, purported to relieve the defendant from all liability for injuries arising out of horse related activities at Showtime Stables. The issue in this appeal is whether we can review the plaintiff's claims notwithstanding the fact that she has failed to provide us with a complete record. We conclude that the absence of a complete record restricts our ability to review fully and accurately the plaintiff's claims of harmful error. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")