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Business Law

Business Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4726

AC42495 - ASPIC, LLC v. Poitier ("In this debt collection action, the plaintiff, ASPIC, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant, Brack G. Poitier. The plaintiff claims that the court erred in concluding that it cannot hold the defendant personally liable for amounts due on promissory notes entered into by the plaintiff's predecessor in interest, Wendell Harp, because Harp breached his fiduciary duties to the defendant, who was Harp's general partner in certain limited partnerships. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the court.")


Business Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4703

SC20501 - Benjamin v. Island Management, LLC ("The principal issue in this appeal is one of first impression regarding the conditions under which a member of a manager-managed limited liability company (LLC) is permitted to inspect the LLC’s books and records pursuant to General Statutes § 34-255i, a provision of the Connecticut Uniform Limited Liability Company Act (CULLCA), General Statutes § 34-243 et seq. Specifically, we consider whether such a member seeking information for the stated purpose of ascertaining whether mismanagement has occurred must produce credible proof that mismanagement may have occurred as a precondition for exercising the member’s statutory inspection right. The defendant, Island Management, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court holding that the defendant’s refusal to disclose certain information to the substitute plaintiffs, cotrustees of the Helen Benjamin 2002 Trust, a member of the defendant LLC, violated both § 34-255i and the defendant’s operating agreement. The defendant contends that the trial court (1) incorrectly concluded that there is no requirement under § 34-255i that the requesting member produce credible proof of mismanagement, and (2) improperly failed to apply other statutory requirements. It further contends that the alleged violation of its operating agreement is merely derivative of the alleged statutory violation, not an independent basis for relief, and, therefore, the former fails for the same reasons that the latter fails. We affirm the trial court’s judgment.")


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.")


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.")


Business Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4581

SC20500 - Normandy v. American Medical Systems, Inc. ("The principal issue in this appeal is whether a hospital that purchases, stocks, and supplies a medical device, and then bills a patient for its use during surgery, is a "product seller," as defined by General Statutes § 52-572m (a), for purposes of imposing strict liability under the Connecticut Product Liability Act (product liability act).See General Statutes § 52-572m et seq. The named plaintiff, Debra Normandy, appeals from the trial court's granting of the motion for summary judgment filed by the defendant Bristol Hospital, Inc., with respect to her complaint alleging injuries arising from the defendant's violations of, inter alia, the product liability act, the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), General Statutes § 42-110a et seq., and the common law. On appeal, the plaintiff contends that the trial court incorrectly concluded that (1) the defendant was not a product seller for purposes of imposing strict liability under the product liability act, and (2) her CUTPA and common-law claims were time barred because the statutes of limitations applicable to those claims were not tolled. We conclude that the defendant, as a hospital, is not a product seller for purposes of imposing strict liability pursuant to the product liability act under the circumstances of this case, in which the defendant provided general information regarding various medical procedures on its website and did not significantly participate in placing the medical device at issue into the stream of commerce. We further conclude that the statutes of limitations governing the plaintiff's CUTPA and common-law claims were not tolled. Accordingly, we 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=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.")


Business Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4348

AC40701 - Village Mortgage Co. v. Veneziano ("The plaintiff brought the civil action underlying this appeal seeking relief related to the defendant's failure to comply with its corporate bylaws, which required the defendant to satisfy state and federal licensing requirements pertaining to its mortgage loan business. During the course of the underlying litigation, the trial court, relying on a stipulation entered into by the parties, ordered the defendant to satisfy the licensing requirements at issue by a certain date or, in accordance with the penalty for his noncompliance set forth in the plaintiff's bylaws, his stock in the plaintiff would be surrendered to the plaintiff. Subsequently, after finding that the defendant had failed to comply with its order, the court rendered judgment ordering the defendant's shares to be surrendered to the plaintiff.

From this judgment, the defendant appeals. The defendant claims that the court erred (1) in its interpretation of the parties' stipulation, (2) by failing to apply the doctrines of substantial performance, waiver, and estoppel in its analysis of whether he satisfied the court's order, (3) in finding that the plaintiff did not breach the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and (4) by denying his motion to open the judgment without holding a preliminary hearing related to the motion. The plaintiff argues that this court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the appeal because the defendant's claims are moot. We agree with the plaintiff's jurisdictional argument. Accordingly, we dismiss the appeal.")


Business Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4321

AC42383 - Deleo v. Equale & Cirone, LLP ("The defendants, Equale & Cirone, LLP (partnership), and Anthony W. Cirone, Jr., appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Derek J. DeLeo, on the defendants' counterclaim for damages under the noncompete provision of the parties' partnership agreement (noncompete provision). The defendants claim that the trial court erred in concluding that the noncompete provision constitutes an unreasonable restraint of trade and, therefore, is unenforceable. 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=4290

AC41486 - Northeast Builders Supply & Home Centers, LLC v. RMM Consulting, LLC ("On appeal, the defendants claim that the court improperly (1) granted the plaintiff's motion to strike four counts of their counterclaim on the ground that the counts were improperly joined because they failed the transaction test set forth in Practice Book § 10-10, and (2) rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiff on its complaint and on the sole remaining count of the counterclaim because the court (a) incorrectly determined that the plaintiff was the seller of the goods at issue, (b) wrongly concluded that the individual defendants, Jones and Morrill, were liable as buyers of the goods rather than as guarantors only, (c) failed to properly consider the defendants' defense of revocation of acceptance, (d) rendered judgment for the plaintiff despite having found that some of the goods at issue were defective and that the plaintiff had refused to remedy or replace them, and (e) incorrectly found that the plaintiff proved its damages to a reasonable degree of certainty. We conclude that the court properly granted the motion to strike, but that the form of the judgment rendered on the stricken counts of the counterclaim was incorrect, and, accordingly, we reverse the judgment on the stricken counts of the counterclaim and remand with direction to render a judgment of dismissal on those counts. We otherwise affirm the judgment of the court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4277

AC39890, AC40558 - Indoor Billboard Northwest, Inc. v. M2 Systems Corp. ("In Docket No. AC 39890, the defendant appeals from the judgment of the trial court with respect to the unjust enrichment cause of action brought by the plaintiffs. The defendant claims that the court erred in the following ways: (1) by awarding damages to a person who was neither a plaintiff in the underlying action nor a nonparty who had assigned his interest to a plaintiff in the underlying action; (2) by determining that the defendant was not entitled to a setoff; (3) by rejecting its special defense of judicial estoppel; (4) by finding that the note executed by the defendant in favor of a third party had been amended; (5) by finding that the defendant had been unjustly enriched as a result of the plaintiffs' funds; (6) by finding that cross-traded subnotes, which had been exchanged between some of the plaintiffs' accounts, had unjustly enriched the defendant; (7) by finding that the defendant's loan obligation to a third party was satisfied in part with the use of the plaintiffs' funds; and (8) by finding that the plaintiffs had satisfied in part the defendant's debt obligation to a third party despite the fact that the debt was not discharged pursuant to the terms of the note at issue.

Docket No. AC 40558 is the plaintiffs' appeal from the court's decision denying their postverdict motion for attorney's fees. In their appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court erred by denying their motion for attorney's fees and expenses after rendering judgment in their favor with respect to their unjust enrichment cause of action. We agree with the first claim raised by the defendant in Docket No. AC 39890 and, consequently, reverse the portion of the judgment that is the subject of that claim. With respect to the remainder of the claims raised by the defendant in Docket No. AC 39890 and the claim raised by the plaintiffs in Docket No. AC 40558, we affirm the judgment and the decision of the trial court.")


Business Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4268

AC43027 - Wittman v. Intense Movers, Inc. (Corporate dissolution; breach of fiduciary duty; notice to purchase shares of company pursuant to statute (§ 33-900 (b)); motion to enforce settlement agreement; "The self-represented defendants, Alexander Leute and William R. Leute III, appeal from the judgment of the trial court enforcing a signed memorandum of understanding as supplemented by an unsigned settlement document with its attachments (jointly, settlement agreement) made between the defendants and the plaintiffs, Matthew Wittman and Carol Wittman, regarding the defendants' purchase of the plaintiffs' shares of stock in Intense Movers, Inc. (company). On appeal, the defendants claim that the trial court erred in granting the plaintiffs' motion to enforce the settlement agreement because the defendants' ability to obtain third-party financing to fund the purchase of the plaintiffs' shares was a contingency of the settlement agreement. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Declaratory Judgment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4256

AC42667 - Village Mortgage Co. v. Garbus ("In this declaratory judgment action, the defendants, Ronald Garbus and Georganne Garbus, appeal from the judgment of the trial court, declaring that the defendants are not lawful stockholders of the plaintiff, Village Mortgage Company. The defendants claim that the court improperly concluded that the plaintiff's cause of action is akin to an equitable claim for injunctive relief subject to the doctrine of laches, rather than a legal claim for tortious financial misconduct subject to the statute of limitations, specifically General Statutes § 52-577. 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=4257

AC42280 - Featherston v. Katchko & Son Construction Services, Inc. ("The defendants, Katchko & Son Construction Services, Inc. (Son Singular), and Katchko & Sons Construction Services, Inc. (Sons Plural), appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Peter Featherston. On appeal, the defendants claim that the court (1) abused its discretion in granting the plaintiff's motion to amend his second revised complaint, (2) improperly rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiff on counts one and two of his second revised complaint sounding in violations of the Connecticut Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (CUFTA), General Statutes § 52-552a et seq., and (3) improperly rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiff on count three of his second revised complaint sounding in a violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), General Statutes § 42-110a et seq. We dismiss, sua sponte, the defendants' original appeal for lack of a final judgment; see part I of this opinion; and, with respect to the amended appeal, we affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4161

AC42182 - Manere v. Collins ("The plaintiff, Robert Manere, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a bench trial, in favor of the defendants, Peter Collins and BAHR, LLC (BAHR). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly (1) concluded that BAHR's counterclaim stated a claim upon which relief could be granted, (2) applied a six year statute of limitations to BAHR's counterclaim, and (3) rejected his application to dissolve BAHR on the ground of oppression pursuant to General Statutes § 34-267 (a) (5), Connecticut's limited liability company dissolution statute. We agree with the plaintiff's second and third claims and, accordingly, reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4150

AC41568, AC42396 - Clinton v. Aspinwall ("In this breach of contract and fiduciary duty case, the defendants, Michael E. Aspinwall, Steven F. Piaker, and David W. Young, appeal from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a trial to the jury, in favor of the plaintiff, John B. Clinton. The parties' dispute arises out of their ownership and operation of CCP Equity Partners, LLC (CCP). The defendants' principal claim on appeal is that the court erred in its construction of the operating agreement that governed CCP, resulting in multiple erroneous rulings throughout the course of the litigation. The defendants specifically claim that the court improperly (1) denied their motion to strike, (2) denied their motion for summary judgment, (3) denied their motion in limine, (4) charged the jury, (5) denied their motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and motion to set aside the verdict (posttrial motions), and (6) awarded the plaintiff attorney's fees and costs. We agree that the court improperly construed portions of the agreement and reverse the judgment in part and affirm it in part, and remand the case for a new hearing on the issue of attorney's fees and costs.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3914

AC41931 - Professional Electrical Contractors of Connecticut, Inc. v. Stamford Hospital ("The plaintiff, Professional Electrical Contractors of Connecticut, Inc., appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendants Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland (Fidelity) and Skanska USA Building, Inc. (Skanska). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred in rendering summary judgment on counts two and three of its complaint because there were genuine issues of material facts and neither defendant was entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Specifically, the plaintiff claims that (1) Skanska failed to prove that there existed no issues of material fact on the plaintiff's equitable claim of quantum meruit or unjust enrichment, and (2) neither defendant established that it was entitled to judgment as a matter of law on the plaintiff's bond claim because the claim is viable pursuant to General Statutes §§ 49-33 and 49-36. We agree with the plaintiff on both claims. Accordingly, we reverse in part and affirm in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Interpleader Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3879

AC41922 - Starboard Resources, Inc. v. Henry ("In this interpleader action, the Imbruce parties appeal from the trial court's interlocutory judgment of interpleader. On appeal, the Imbruce parties claim that the trial court (1) does not have subject matter jurisdiction over this interpleader action because the plaintiff, Starboard Resources, Inc., lacks standing, (2) erroneously denied the defendant Giddings Investments, LLC's motion to dismiss this interpleader action as moot, (3) improperly rendered the interlocutory judgment of interpleader, and (4) erroneously granted a motion to remand the matter to the arbitrator who had entered an award in an arbitration involving the Imbruce parties and the SOSventures parties. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


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