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Insurance Law

Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4825

AC44114 - DiTullio v. LM General Ins. Co. ("This appeal concerns an arbitration award (award) that arose out of an underinsured motorist cause of action. The plaintiff, Gabrielle DiTullio, appeals from the judgment of the trial court 'confirming the arbitration award with a deduction for the $20,000 offset to clarify the amount to be awarded is $12,500 in accordance with the law.' (Emphasis added.) On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly deducted $20,000 from the award because the court (1) lacked statutory authority to do so, as the defendant, LM General Insurance Company, failed to file a motion to modify, correct, or vacate the award pursuant to General Statutes § 52-407tt, § 52-407xx, or § 52-407ww, and also (2) lacked common-law authority to do so. We conclude that the deduction was proper, but on different grounds than those relied upon by the court. The court had authority to deduct the $20,000 settlement from the tortfeasor from the full value arbitration award to conform the award to the parties' written agreement. The court, however, miscalculated the amount of the judgment, and thus, we affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Insurance Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4794

SC20451 - Klass v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co. ("Connecticut's insurance law provides that, '[w]hen a covered loss for real property requires the replacement of an item or items and the replacement item or items do not match adjacent items in quality, color or size, the insurer shall replace all such items with material of like kind and quality so as to conform to a reasonably uniform appearance.' General Statutes § 38a-316e (a) (matching statute). The principal issue in this case is whether a dispute as to the extent of an insurer's replacement obligation under the matching statute is a question properly relegated to the appraisal arbitral process or a question of coverage to be resolved by the court in the first instance before appraisal may proceed. The defendant, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, appeals from the trial court's judgment granting the application of the plaintiff, Karl Klass, to compel appraisal with regard to such a dispute. We affirm the trial court's judgment.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4762

AC43470 - Lippi v. United Services Automobile Assn. ("The plaintiffs, Kris J. Lippi and Gina M. Lippi, appeal from the trial court's rendering of summary judgment in favor of the defendant, United Services Automobile Association, on the plaintiffs' two count complaint that alleged breach of an insurance policy and extracontractual claims. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court erred by improperly granting the defendant's motion for summary judgment. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4683

AC42342 - Menard v. State ("In these underinsured motorist matters, the plaintiffs, Scott Menard and Darren Connolly, jointly appeal, and the defendant, the state of Connecticut, cross appeals, from the judgments of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiffs following a bench trial.In addition, the state cross appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of a third plaintiff, Robert Zdrojeski, after the bench trial. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court improperly (1) declined to award them damages in relation to the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that they purportedly developed, and (2) reduced their damages by the sums of workers' compensation benefits that they had received.On cross appeal, the state claims that the court improperly declined to reduce the plaintiffs' damages by the sums that they had recovered pursuant to the Connecticut Dram Shop Act (dram shop act), General Statutes § 30-102.We dismiss, sua sponte, the plaintiffs' original joint appeal for lack of a final judgment.See part I of this opinion.As for the amended joint appeal and the cross appeal, we (1) reverse the judgments rendered in favor of the plaintiffs and (2) affirm the judgment rendered in favor of Zdrojeski.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4597

AC43755 - Lift-Up, Inc. v. Colony Ins. Co. ("In this declaratory judgment action, the substitute plaintiffs, Dennis Kinman (Kinman) and Amy Kinman (jointly, Kinmans), appeal from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant Colony Insurance Company (Colony) on the Kinmans' amended complaint and Colony's counterclaim.The litigation centers on whether Colony had a duty to defend the original plaintiffs, Lift-Up, Inc. (Lift-Up) and its president, Bruce Kutner, in a personal injury action that the Kinmans had brought against them. On appeal, the Kinmans' principal claim is that in granting Colony's motion for summary judgment, the court improperly construed the allegations of the operative complaint and the terms of the garage liability policy that Colony had issued to Lift-Up.More to the point, the Kinmans claim that the court improperly concluded as a matter of law that their injuries were not caused by an accident that resulted from Lift-Up's garage operations but, rather, arose out of Kutner's assault, battery, or assault and battery, for which the policy provides no coverage. The Kinmans also claim that the court improperly (1) ignored extrinsic evidence that they argue supported their claim that Colony had a duty to defend and (2) predicated its ruling on allegations of intentional and/or reckless conduct that were properly pleaded in the alternative. 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=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.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4495

AC43361 - Finley v. Western Express, Inc. ("The plaintiff, Montavious Finley, brought the underlying action against the defendants, Western Express, Inc. (Western Express), and National Casualty Company (National Casualty), seeking to recover uninsured motorist benefits. The plaintiff appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendants. The plaintiff claims that the court misinterpreted applicable Connecticut law and disregarded public policy in concluding as a matter of law that the automobile insurance policy under which he sought to recover did not provide uninsured motorist coverage to him. Because the plaintiff has failed to challenge an independent basis for the court's ruling, we conclude that the appeal is moot. Accordingly, we dismiss the appeal.")


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.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4276

AC42774 - A & R Enterprises, LLC v. Sentinel Ins. Co., Ltd. ("In this action seeking recovery of the cost to repair a motor vehicle that was damaged in an accident, the plaintiff, A & R Enterprises, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a court trial, denying its claim for the full cost of the repairs on the ground that the insured, Creative Electric, LLC (insured), which assigned its rights to the plaintiff, failed to comply with the voluntary payment provision of the insurance policy pursuant to which the plaintiff sought recovery from the defendant, Sentinel Insurance Company, Ltd. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred by (1) concluding that the recovery of the full cost of the repairs was precluded by the insured's failure to comply with the voluntary payment provision and (2) rejecting its claim that the defendant's reliance on that provision constituted an improper attempt to steer the insured to the defendant's preferred auto body repair shop in violation of General Statutes § 38a-354 (b). 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=4246

AC41537, AC41538, AC42613 - Continental Casualty Co. v. Rohr, Inc. ("These appeals and cross appeal involve issues relating to whether certain umbrella and excess policies issued by the plaintiff and defendant insurers provide coverage for environmental property damage remediation claims brought against the named defendant, Rohr, Inc. (Rohr)."
...

"For the reasons discussed more fully herein, we reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Insurance Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4139

SC20389 - Nash Street, LLC v. Main Street America Assurance Co. ("The dispositive issue before us is whether the defendant insurer had a duty to defend an action brought against its insured in an underlying action alleging property damage resulting from a house that collapsed while being lifted off its foundation. The insurance policy under review contained clauses excluding coverage for damage that occurs to "that particular part" of real property on which the insured was working. In this case, brought under the direct action statute; see General Statutes § 38a-321; the plaintiff, Nash Street, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, which granted the motion for summary judgment filed by the named defendant, Main Street America Assurance Company. The plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment because, at the time the insured, New Beginnings Residential Renovations, LLC, tendered defense of the underlying action to the defendant, there existed at least a possibility that the complaint alleged a liability that was covered under New Beginnings' insurance policy and, thus, triggered the defendant's duty to defend. We agree with the plaintiff and reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3915

AC42082 - RCN Capital, LLC v. Chicago Title Ins. Co. ("In this breach of contract action, the plaintiff, RCN Capital, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court awarding it $108,000 in damages. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly determined the amount of damages. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3858

AC42240 - Krausman v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co. (Underinsured motorist coverage; "The plaintiff . . . filed this interlocutory appeal from the trial court's denial of her motion for an order compelling the defendant, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, to respond to interrogatories that she served pursuant to General Statutes § 52-351b. The plaintiff claims on appeal that the defendant was required by statute to answer the interrogatories and that the court improperly failed, as a matter of law, to grant her motion to compel. The defendant, in addition to disputing the merits of the plaintiff's claim, argues that the appeal should be dismissed for lack of a final judgment. We agree with the defendant that the court's ruling was an interlocutory discovery order in an ongoing civil action that is not immediately appealable because it neither terminated a separate and distinct proceeding nor deprived the plaintiff of a presently held statutory or constitutional right that would be irretrievably lost in the absence of immediate appellate review. See State v. Curcio, 191 Conn. 27, 31, 463 A.2d 566 (1983); see also Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co. v. Ace American Reinsurance Co., 279 Conn. 220, 226–27, 901 A.2d 1164 (2006). Accordingly, we dismiss the appeal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.")


Insurance Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3702

SC20000, SC20001, SC20003 - R.T. Vanderbilt Co., Inc. v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co. ("These certified appeals, which present us with several significant questions of insurance law, arise from coverage disputes between the plaintiff, R.T. Vanderbilt Company, Inc. (Vanderbilt), and the defendants, who are numerous insurance companies (insurer defendants) that issued primary and secondary comprehensive general liability insurance policies to Vanderbilt between 1948 and 2008, stemming from thousands of underlying lawsuits alleging injuries from exposure to industrial talc containing asbestos that Vanderbilt mined and sold. Vanderbilt and the insurer defendants appeal, upon our granting of their petitions for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming in part and reversing in part numerous interlocutory decisions made by the trial court in connection with the first and second phases of a complex trial between the parties. R.T. Vanderbilt Co. v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co., 171 Conn. App. 61, 75–76, 156 A.3d 539 (2017). On appeal, the insurer defendants claim that the Appellate Court improperly (1) upheld the trial court's adoption of a 'continuous trigger' theory of coverage for asbestos related disease claims as a matter of law and the trial court's related preclusion of expert testimony on current medical science regarding the actual timing of bodily injury from such disease, (2) upheld the trial court's adoption of an 'unavailability of insurance' exception to the 'time on the risk' rule of contract law, which provides for pro rata allocation of defense costs and indemnity for asbestos related disease claims, and (3) interpreted pollution exclusion clauses in certain insurance policies as applicable only to claims arising from 'traditional' environmental pollution, rather than to those arising from asbestos exposure in indoor working environments. In its appeal, Vanderbilt claims that the Appellate Court improperly construed occupational disease exclusions present in certain policies as not limited to claims brought by Vanderbilt's own employees. Because we conclude that the Appellate Court's comprehensive opinion properly resolved these significant issues, we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3693

AC40864 - R & P Realty Co. v. Peerless Indemnity Ins. Co. ("The plaintiffs, R & P Realty Company and Unger's Floor Covering, Inc., appeal from the judgment of the trial court, following a court trial, rendered in favor of the defendant, Peerless Indemnity Insurance Company, on count one of their operative complaint sounding in breach of contract. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the trial court erred in concluding that the defendant did not breach the parties' casualty insurance policy by declining to pay for the increased costs of demolition resulting from the presence of asbestos and lead within the insured property, which the plaintiffs discovered after the defendant had remitted an initial insurance payout to which the parties agreed. We conclude that the record is inadequate for our review, and, accordingly, we decline to review the plaintiffs' claim and, thus, 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=3663

AC40999 - Amica Mutual Ins. Co. v. Levine ("This declaratory judgment action arises from an automobile crash that occurred in 2010 involving the defendant, Michelle Levine. The defendant appeals from the trial court's rendering of summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff, the Amica Mutual Insurance Company. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred when it concluded that (1) the provision in the plaintiff's automobile insurance policy requiring the defendant to undergo an independent medical examination (IME) at the plaintiff's request was not void as against public policy, (2) the provision requiring the defendant to undergo an IME was reasonable and the defendant's refusal to attend was unreasonable, (3) the defendant had breached the policy's cooperation clause for failing to attend the IME because that determination was predicated on an improper allocation of the burden of proof, and (4) there was no issue of material fact as to whether the plaintiff properly had reserved its rights to bring the present action. We disagree and, therefore, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Insurance Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3653

SC19968 - Riley v. Travelers Home & Marine Ins. Co. ("This appeal concerns a question of civil procedure arising when a jury returns a verdict in favor of the plaintiff that the defendant claims was not supported by sufficient evidence presented during the plaintiff's case-in-chief. Under what has come to be known as the waiver rule, 'when a trial court denies a defendant's motion for a directed verdict at the close of the plaintiff's case, the defendant, by opting to introduce evidence in his or her own behalf, waives the right to appeal the trial court's ruling.' Sears, Roebuck & Co. v. Board of Tax Review, 241 Conn. 749, 756–57, 699 A.2d 81 (1997). The defendant, The Traveler's Home and Marine Insurance Company, contends that the waiver rule is inapplicable to civil cases in which a trial court reserves decision on a motion for a directed verdict pursuant to Practice Book § 16-37. We disagree and conclude that the waiver rule is applicable regardless of whether a motion for a directed verdict has been reserved for decision or denied. Thus, a court reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence to support a jury's verdict must consider all of the evidence considered by the jury returning the verdict, not just the evidence presented in the plaintiff's case-in-chief.

The plaintiff, C. Andrew Riley, commenced this action against the defendant for breach of contract and negligent infliction of emotional distress stemming from the defendant's handling of the plaintiff's homeowner's insurance claim. At the close of the plaintiff's case-in-chief, the defendant moved for a directed verdict on the plaintiff's negligent infliction of emotional distress claim, and the trial court reserved decision on that motion. The defendant then presented evidence in its defense, some of which supported the plaintiff's contention that the defendant had been negligent in its investigation of his homeowner's insurance claim. The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff on both counts. The defendant timely moved for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, renewing its motion for a directed verdict and requesting the court to set aside the verdict on the claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress and render judgment for the defendant. The trial court, relying primarily on evidence that emerged during the defendant's case, determined that there was sufficient evidence to support the jury's verdict and denied the defendant's motion. The Appellate Court affirmed the trial court's judgment; Riley v. Travelers Home & Marine Ins. Co., 173 Conn. App. 422, 462, 163 A.3d 1246 (2017); and we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3650

AC41130 - Gaddy v. Mount Vernon Fire Ins. Co. ("The plaintiff, Charles H. Gaddy, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendants, Mount Vernon Fire Insurance Company and United States Liability Insurance Group. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly concluded that his claims were barred by the applicable statute of limitations. We disagree.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3508

AC41429 - Hilario Truck Center, LLC v. Kohn ("The plaintiff, Hilario Truck Center, LLC, appeals from the judgment of dismissal of the third count of its operative complaint following the granting of the motion to dismiss filed by the defendant Allstate Insurance Company (Allstate). The plaintiff argues that the court erred when it concluded that the plaintiff lacked standing to bring a claim as a third-party beneficiary against Allstate pursuant to an automobile insurance policy issued to the defendant Kevin E. Kohn. 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=3503

AC41450 - Viking Construction, Inc. v. 777 Residential, LLC ("The cross claim defendant, Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company (Liberty Mutual), appeals from the summary judgment rendered against it in favor of the cross claim plaintiffs, 777 Main Street, LLC (777 Main) and 777 Residential, LLC (777 Residential). On appeal, Liberty Mutual argues that the trial court erred in granting the 777 entities' motion for summary judgment on their cross claim and in denying Liberty Mutual's motion for summary judgment, on the basis of its interpretation of the insurance policy issued by Liberty Mutual to the 777 entities. Specifically, Liberty Mutual argues that (1) the defects, errors, and omissions exclusion in the insurance policy bars coverage, and (2) the resulting loss clause in the policy does not reinstate coverage. We agree with Liberty Mutual and reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


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