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.
Tort Law

Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3759

AC41599 - Telman v. Hoyt ("The plaintiff, Kathleen Telman, appeals from the trial court's judgment denying her motion to set aside the verdict as to damages and for additur. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court abused its discretion in denying her motion to 'set aside [the] verdict' as to damages and for additur because the court's award of attorney's fees to the plaintiff was so low that it shocks the conscience. We conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the plaintiff's motion for additur as to attorney's fees and, therefore, affirm the judgment.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3756

AC41924 - Benchmark Municipal Tax Services, Ltd. v. Greenwood Manor, LLC ("In this action to foreclose certain municipal property tax liens on a 9.9 acre parcel of property in Bridgeport (property), the substitute defendant and cross claim plaintiff, Main Street Business Management, Inc. (Main Street), appeals from the trial court's judgment rendered against it on its cross claim alleging that the cross claim defendant, Manuel Moutinho, tortiously interfered with a business expectancy and violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act, General Statutes § 42-110 et seq. (CUTPA), and on its counterclaim alleging that the city engaged in tortious interference with a business expectancy and improperly sought to affect the property's value adversely by interfering with a proposed zone change.

On appeal, Main Street, as Greenwood's successor in interest, claims that the court improperly determined that (1) Moutinho did not tortiously interfere with a proposed sale of the property by Greenwood to the city, (2) the city did not tortiously interfere with the business relationship between Greenwood and Moutinho, and (3) the city did not tortiously interfere by causing the city's planning and zoning commission (commission) to reject a zoning reclassification that would have benefited Greenwood by increasing the property's marketability. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3740

SC20119 - Tremont Public Advisors, LLC v. Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority ("The primary issue that we must resolve in this appeal is whether allegations that a quasi-public agency engaged in a sham competitive bidding procedure and awarded a contract to a preselected entity for corrupt reasons and in violation of a competitive bidding statute are sufficient to support a claim that the agency violated the Connecticut Antitrust Act, General Statutes § 35-24 et seq. (antitrust act). The plaintiff, Tremont Public Advisors, LLC, is a public affairs firm. The defendant, the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority, is a quasi-public agency responsible for providing solid waste disposal and recycling services to numerous municipalities in this state pursuant to the Connecticut Solid Waste Management Services Act, General Statutes § 22a-257 et seq. In 2011, the defendant issued a request for proposals for the provision of municipal government liaison services (liaison services). The plaintiff submitted a proposal that complied with the request for proposals, but the defendant awarded the liaison services contract to the law firm of Brown Rudnick, LLP (Brown Rudnick), whose proposal was noncompliant. Thereafter, the plaintiff brought this action alleging that the defendant's request for proposals was a sham and that the defendant had violated General Statutes § 22a-268, which, according to the plaintiff, mandates a competitive bidding procedure for the liaison services contract. The plaintiff further alleged that the defendant's conduct excluded competitors for the liaison services contract in violation of the antitrust act. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the second substituted complaint, claiming, inter alia, that the plaintiff lacked standing to bring the antitrust claim. The defendant also filed a motion to strike, claiming that, even if the plaintiff had standing, it had not adequately alleged that the defendant's conduct had an adverse effect on competition as a whole in the relevant market, proof of which is required to establish a violation of the antitrust act, but had alleged only that it had an adverse effect on the plaintiff itself. The trial court denied the motion to dismiss but granted the motion to strike and rendered judgment in favor of the defendant. This appeal by the plaintiff and cross appeal by the defendant followed. We conclude that the plaintiff lacked standing to bring this action because it did not adequately allege an antitrust injury, and, therefore, the trial court improperly denied the defendant's motion to dismiss the second substituted complaint. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment in favor of the defendant.")



Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3737

AC40866 - Jamalipour v. Fairway's Edge Condominium Association, Inc. ("The plaintiff, Alireza Jamalipour, brought the underlying negligence action against the defendants Fairway's Edge Association, Inc. (association), and White & Katzman Property Services (property manager) seeking economic damages that he alleged to have been caused by faulty repairs to a deck attached to his condominium unit. The defendants appeal from the judgment rendered by the trial court in the plaintiff's favor in the amount of $31,900.The defendants claim that (1) the evidence did not support the court's award of damages and that the award will unjustly enrich the plaintiff and (2) the court erred in failing to consider relevant association bylaws and the Common Interest Ownership Act (act), General Statutes § 47-200 et seq. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3728

AC40736 - Tatoian v. Tyler ("The plaintiff, Richard Tatoian, in his capacity as trustee of the Ruth B. Tyler Irrevocable Trust, brought the underlying vexatious litigation action against the defendants, Bruce D. Tyler (Bruce Tyler) and Jay M. Tyler (Jay Tyler). The defendants are among the beneficiaries of the trust. In 2010, Jay Tyler commenced an action (prior action) against, among others, the plaintiff and Bruce Tyler. Jay Tyler named the plaintiff as a defendant in all seven counts of his complaint, but counts three through seven of the complaint were brought against the plaintiff exclusively. Essentially, with respect to the plaintiff, Jay Tyler alleged in his complaint that, in a variety of ways, the plaintiff had performed deficiently as trustee and sought money damages and equitable relief. In 2011, Bruce Tyler brought a cross complaint in the prior action. All four counts of the cross complaint, which was brought against the plaintiff exclusively, are nearly identical to the claims raised in counts four through seven of the complaint. Bruce Tyler sought, inter alia, money damages. After the plaintiff prevailed in the prior action, he commenced the present action, sounding in common-law and statutory vexatious litigation, for, inter alia, attorney's fees and costs he incurred, on behalf of the trust, in defending himself in the prior action. Following a court trial in the present action, the trial court found that the defendants lacked probable cause to bring one of the claims against the plaintiff in the prior action. Accordingly, the court rendered judgment in part in the plaintiff's favor and awarded him a portion of the attorney's fees and costs he incurred in defending the prior action.

The defendants appeal from the judgment of the trial court and raise the following claims: (1) the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the plaintiff's causes of action because he lacked standing at the time of the commencement of the present action; (2) the court improperly failed to consider whether the settlor of the trust, Ruth B. Tyler (Ruth Tyler), was subjected to undue influence in connection with the creation of the trust; (3) the court misinterpreted relevant law in its analysis of whether, in the prior action, the defendants had probable cause to claim that the plaintiff had violated General Statutes § 45a-541c by failing to diversify trust assets; and (4) the court misinterpreted relevant law in its analysis of whether the plaintiff could prevail in the present action merely by demonstrating that the defendants lacked probable cause to bring one of the claims that they brought against him in the prior action.

The plaintiff cross appeals from the judgment of the trial court. He claims that, although the court properly concluded that one of the claims raised against him by the defendants in the prior action was not supported by probable cause, the court erroneously failed to conclude that the defendants lacked probable cause to bring the remaining claims and had acted with malice in bringing the claims.

We disagree with the claims raised in the defendants' appeal but agree, in part, with the claim raised in the plaintiff's cross appeal. Accordingly, we affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3718

AC41398, AC41543 - Commerce Park Associates, LLC v. Robbins; Robbins Eye Center, P.C. v. Commerce Park Associates, LLC ("The present appeals and cross appeal arise from two actions involving a commercial lease that share a nucleus of operative facts and were consolidated for trial. They raise, among other issues, whether the landlord's failure to take actions to remedy recurrent sewage backups into the leased premises occupied by an eye surgery center resulted in a constructive eviction that excused the tenant from the obligation to pay rent in accordance with the terms of the lease, and whether, as a result of the alleged inaction of the landlord and its property management company, the eye surgery center was entitled to recover compensatory damages for the loss of its use of improvements it previously had made to the premises.

In the action underlying AC 41398 (rent action), Commerce Park Associates, LLC (Commerce Park), sought to recover rent it alleges it was owed by a former tenant, Kim Robbins—an ophthalmologist and the owner of Robbins Eye Center, P.C. (REC). REC had occupied the lower level of a commercial property owned by Commerce Park in Bridgeport pursuant to a commercial lease but vacated the premises prior to the lease's expiration following a series of sewage backups that flooded the premises. Robbins now appeals, and Commerce Park cross appeals, from the judgment of the trial court rendered in part in favor of Commerce Park. Robbins claims that the court improperly (1) awarded Commerce Park rent for a period of time from November, 2014, through the third full week of April, 2015, and (2) miscalculated the amount of the rent that she owed for that period. Commerce Park claims by way of cross appeal that the court improperly determined that Robbins was constructively evicted from the premises after the third full week of April, 2015, by the sewage backups, and, consequently, Commerce Park was not entitled to recover any rent from Robbins after that date. We affirm the judgment of the court with the exception of its calculation of the amount of the rent awarded to Commerce Park and, accordingly, remand for a new hearing in damages in the rent action.

In the action underlying AC 41543 (tort action), REC sued Commerce Park and its property manager, RDR Management, LLC (RDR), seeking monetary damages for economic injuries that REC suffered as a result of their failure to make necessary repairs to the premises. Commerce Park now appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in part in favor of REC and awarding REC damages of $958,041.92 against Commerce Park. Commerce Park claims that the trial court improperly (1) awarded damages on the basis of gross negligence because (a) Connecticut common law does not recognize distinctions or degrees of negligence and (b) REC never pleaded or otherwise asserted allegations of gross negligence prior to trial; and (2) miscalculated the amount of damages awarded because the court (a) utilized an incorrect measure of damages in determining REC's losses and (b) misconstrued the length of Robbins' expected tenancy under the lease, which was an integral component of the court's calculation of damages. We agree that the court improperly included two unexercised lease extension options in determining the length of Robbins' tenancy and, accordingly, reverse the amount of damages awarded; we otherwise affirm the judgment of the court in the tort action.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3715

AC40329 - Wager v. Moore ("The plaintiff, Rachel Wager, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a jury trial, in favor of the defendant Alexandria Moore in an action to recover damages for injuries that she sustained when she was struck by a vehicle operated by the defendant. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred when it (1) denied the plaintiff's motion to set aside the verdict on the basis of insufficient evidence to support the jury's finding of contributory negligence, (2) instructed the jury on contributory negligence when such a charge was not supported by the evidence, (3) failed to instruct the jury on law essential to the plaintiff's claim regarding the defendant's negligence, and (4) denied the plaintiff's motion for a mistrial and later motion to set aside the verdict, which were based on the improper introduction of hearsay evidence against her at trial. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Decision

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3711

AC40839 - Jezouit v. Malloy ("The plaintiff, Lawrence S. Jezouit, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his complaint on the basis of sovereign immunity. The plaintiff argues that the court improperly dismissed his complaint because (1) he brought his claim pursuant to General Statutes § 52-570d, which he contends waives sovereign immunity by force of necessary implication, and (2) he seeks declaratory and injunctive relief in accordance with a recognized exception to sovereign immunity. We disagree and, thus, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3701

AC41964 - Klein v. Quinnipiac University ("In this premises liability action, the plaintiff, Daniel Klein, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a jury trial, in favor of the defendant, Quinnipiac University. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred by (1) permitting a witness to testify about the estimated speed of the plaintiff's bicycle at the time of his collision, and (2) refusing to give a jury instruction on the definition of, and the duty owed to, a licensee. For the reasons discussed herein, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3690

AC41393 - Daley v. Kashmanian ("This appeal stems from a personal injury action brought by the plaintiff, Devonte Daley, against the defendants, Zachary Kashmanian and the city of Hartford (city), seeking damages for the injuries he sustained when Kashmanian, a detective with the Hartford Police Department who had been surveilling the plaintiff in an unmarked police car, allegedly, negligently and recklessly caused the plaintiff to be ejected from his motorcycle. The plaintiff appeals, following a jury trial, from the judgment of the trial court directing a verdict in favor of Kashmanian on the plaintiff's recklessness claim, and from the judgment of the trial court setting aside the jury's verdict on the plaintiff's negligence claim. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly (1) directed a verdict because there was sufficient evidence for the jury to find that Kashmanian engaged in reckless conduct, and (2) set aside the verdict with respect to the negligence claim on the ground that the defendants were entitled to governmental immunity because Kashmanian was engaged in ministerial, not discretionary, conduct. We agree with the plaintiff's first claim only, and, accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court directing a verdict on the recklessness claim and affirm the judgment of the trial court setting aside the verdict on the negligence claim.")

AC41298 - Peek v. Manchester Memorial Hospital ("The plaintiff, Delores Peek, appeals from the summary judgment rendered in favor of the defendants, Manchester Memorial Hospital and Prospect Medical Holdings, Inc. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly determined that her action was barred by the statute of limitations in General Statutes § 52-584.[1]Because we conclude that the evidence before the trial court demonstrated a genuine issue of material fact as to when the plaintiff discovered her injury as contemplated by § 52-584, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3686

AC20097 - King v. Volvo Excavators AB ("The plaintiff, Donita J. King, individually and as executrix of the estate of Daniel H. King (decedent), appeals from the judgment of the trial court in favor of the defendants Volvo Group North America, LLC (VGNA), Volvo Construction Equipment North America, LLC (VCENA), and Tyler Equipment Corporation (Tyler Equipment), on claims arising from a workplace accident in which the bucket of an excavator became dislodged and fell on the decedent, causing fatal injuries. On appeal, the plaintiff asserts that the trial court improperly granted the defendants' motions for summary judgment. The plaintiff's primary claim on appeal is that the statute of repose applied to her product liability claims, General Statutes (Rev. to 2015) § 52-577a, is unconstitutional because it creates two classes of claimants—employees who are subject to a ten year statute of repose and nonemployees who are not subject to the ten year statute of repose if the claimant can show that the product was within its useful safe life when the injury occurred. While the defendants' motions for summary judgment were pending before the trial court, the legislature enacted Number 17-97 of the 2017 Public Acts (P.A. 17-97), which combined those two classes of claimants by removing the limitations provision applicable to employees. In its decision on the motions for summary judgment, the trial court concluded that P.A. 17-97 was not retroactive and applied the statute of repose applicable to employees to bar the plaintiff's claims.

We conclude that the trial court improperly rendered judgment in favor of the defendants because the amendment to the statute of repose in P.A. 17-97 retroactively applied to the plaintiff's claims. As a result, we need not address the plaintiff's claim on appeal that General Statutes (Rev. to 2015) § 52-577a is unconstitutional. Instead, we conclude that the trial court must consider whether there is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the injury occurred during the useful safe life of the product.")



Tort Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3669

SC19946 - Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency v. Jackson ("To prevail in a negligence action, a plaintiff ordinarily must establish all of the elements of that cause of action, namely, duty, breach, causation, and damages. See, e.g., Snell v. Norwalk Yellow Cab, Inc., 332 Conn. 720, 742, ___ A.3d ___ (2019). In this appeal, which presents an issue of first impression for this court, we must decide whether to adopt the alternative liability doctrine, which was first articulated in Summers v. Tice, 33 Cal. 2d 80, 85–87, 199 P.2d 1 (1948), and later endorsed by the Restatement (Second) of Torts. That rule provides that, when "the conduct of two or more actors is tortious, and it is proved that harm has been caused to the plaintiff by only one of them, but there is uncertainty as to which one has caused it, the burden is upon each such actor to prove that he has not caused the harm." 2 Restatement (Second), Torts § 433 B (3), pp. 441–42 (1965). We are persuaded that the doctrine is a sound one and therefore adopt it.

The plaintiff, Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency, as subrogee of its insured, the town of Somers (town), brought this action against the defendants, Christopher Jackson, Wesley Hall, and Erin Houle, claiming that their negligent disposal of cigarettes inside an abandoned, privately owned mill in the town ignited a fire that destroyed both the mill and a public, aboveground sewage line in the basement of the mill. The trial court granted the defendants' motions for summary judgment on the ground that the plaintiff could not establish which of the defendants' cigarettes had sparked the blaze and, therefore, could not establish causation, an essential element of its cause of action. In doing so, the trial court declined the plaintiff's request that it adopt the alternative liability doctrine as set forth in § 433 B (3) of the Restatement (Second), concluding, inter alia, that whether to do so was a decision only this court, the Appellate Court or the legislature properly should make. We reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


AC42044 - Reale v. Rhode Island ("In this spoliation of evidence action, the plaintiff Daniel Reale appeals from the judgment of dismissal rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant town of Coventry, Rhode Island (town), and the state defendants, the state of Rhode Island; the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth, and Families; Investigator Harry Lonergan; and Attorneys Brenda Baum and Diane Leyden, on the ground of a lack of personal jurisdiction. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred in (1) determining that the state defendants did not waive their right to seek dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction by concurrently moving to strike the plaintiff's complaint as an alternative to dismissal, and (2) granting the state defendants' motions to dismiss on the ground of a lack of personal jurisdiction. We affirm the judgment of the court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3658

AC40985 - Blinn v. Sindwani ("In this personal injury action arising out of an automobile accident, the plaintiff, David Blinn, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered following a jury verdict against the defendant, Desh Sindwani. The plaintiff claims that the court erred by sustaining the defendant's objection to his motions in limine that sought to preclude evidence of the plaintiff's (1) prior misconduct and (2) citation arising from a motor vehicle accident that occurred on June 6, 2014, which resulted in a violation of the plaintiff's probation stemming from a 2013 conviction for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs in violation of General Statutes § 14-227a. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40574 - Iino v. Spalter ("The defendant, Dianne Rogers Spalter, executrix of the estate of Harold Spalter, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a jury trial, in favor of the plaintiff, Elizabeth Spalter Iino, the biological daughter of Harold Spalter, the decedent (decedent).On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly (1) denied her motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, (2) admitted certain evidence, (3) permitted the jury to find her liable for punitive damages without evidence as to the plaintiff's litigation expenses and reserved to itself the issue of the amount of punitive damages to be awarded, and (4) denied her motion to set aside the verdict, which alleged that there was insufficient evidence that the plaintiff suffers from psychological trauma caused by childhood sexual abuse. We agree with the defendant's third claim. Accordingly, we affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")

AC41049 - Vodovskaia-Scandura v. Hartford Headache Center, LLC ("The plaintiff, Nailia Vodovskaia-Scandura, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendants, the Hartford Headache Center, LLC, and Tanya Bilchik, M.D. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly concluded that no genuine issue of material fact existed as to (1) the extreme and outrageous conduct element of her intentional infliction of emotional distress claim, and (2) the duty and causation elements of her negligence claim. 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=3665

AC39898 - Pasco Common Condominium Assn., Inc. v. Benson ("The defendants, Benson Enterprises, Inc. (declarant), and Paul D. Benson, appeal from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a bench trial, in favor of the plaintiffs, Pasco Common Condominium Association, Inc. (association), and eighteen individual members of the association. On appeal, the defendants claim that (1) the court incorrectly concluded that the statute of limitations governing the plaintiffs' claims was tolled until the commencement of the present action because the period of declarant control had not terminated, (2) the plaintiffs' action was time barred pursuant to General Statutes § 52-577, the three year statute of limitations applicable to tort actions, (3) the court improperly awarded the association damages on the plaintiffs' claim that the defendants improperly assessed common charges, and (4) the court improperly determined that Benson individually was liable. We agree with the defendants' first, third, and fourth claims, but we disagree in part with the defendants' second claim. Accordingly, we affirm in part and reverse in part 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.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3647

SC19971 - Sena v. American Medical Response of Connecticut, Inc. ("This appeal requires us to consider the nature and scope of the immunity provided to the state and its political subdivisions by General Statutes § 28-13 (a) for actions taken in connection with a civil preparedness emergency declared by the governor pursuant to General Statutes § 28-9, which, in the present case, related to a blizzard that occurred in February, 2013. The defendant city of Bridgeport (city) appeals from the trial court's denial of its motion for summary judgment in the present case, which was commenced by the plaintiff, Marinelis Sena, both individually and as administratrix of the estate of Tyrone O. Tillman. The operative complaint alleges, inter alia, that the city was negligent in (1) not following its usual practice of sending a fire truck with an emergency medical technician in addition to an ambulance to render medical care to Tillman when he experienced severe breathing difficulty on February 11, 2013, and (2) preventing the ambulance from arriving promptly by allowing snow to remain on certain public roadways. On appeal, the city claims, inter alia, that it was immune for its actions pursuant to § 28-13, and that the trial court improperly determined that a genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether the civil preparedness emergency remained in effect on the date of Tillman's death. We conclude that (1) an appealable final judgment exists because the city's claims of immunity pursuant to § 28-13 implicate an extension of the state's sovereign immunity to the city, and (2) the trial court should have granted the city's motion for summary judgment because there was no genuine issue of material fact with respect to the applicability of § 28-13. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3642

SC20227 - Metcalf v. Fitzgerald ("In this appeal, we are asked to determine whether the United States Bankruptcy Code provisions permitting bankruptcy courts to assess penalties and sanctions preempt state law claims for vexatious litigation and violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), General Statutes § 42-110a et seq. The plaintiff, Jonathan S. Metcalf, brought state law claims against the defendants, Michael Fitzgerald, Ion Bank (bank), Myles H. Alderman, Jr., and Alderman & Alderman, LLC (law firm), for alleged vexatious litigation and for unfair and deceptive business acts or practices during the plaintiff's underlying bankruptcy proceeding. The plaintiff appeals from the trial court's granting of the motion to dismiss filed by Alderman and the law firm, for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the ground that federal bankruptcy law preempts the claims. The trial court determined that the outcome of the motion was controlled by the Appellate Court's decision in Lewis v. Chelsea G.C.A. Realty Partnership, L.P., 86 Conn. App. 596, 862 A.2d 368 (2004), cert. denied, 273 Conn. 909, 870 A.2d 1079 (2005). The court in Lewis held that the Bankruptcy Code preempted CUTPA and vexatious litigation claims for alleged abuse of the bankruptcy process. Id., 605–607. The plaintiff contends that the court in Lewis did not properly evaluate each of the three types of preemption by which Congress manifests its intent to preempt state law and failed to consider the relevant Bankruptcy Code provisions. See 11 U.S.C. § 105 (2012); Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9011. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3636

AC41721 - Kusy v. Norwich ("This is a personal injury action brought by the plaintiff, Andrzej Kusy, against the defendants, the city of Norwich, its board of education, and certain municipal employees, seeking to recover damages for injuries he sustained after he slipped and fell on snow or ice while delivering milk for his employer, Guida's Dairy (Guida's), at a Norwich school. The plaintiff appeals from the trial court's summary judgment rendered in favor of the defendants on the ground that they are entitled to governmental immunity.

On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly rendered summary judgment in favor of the defendants on the ground of governmental immunity because he adequately raised a genuine issue of material fact as to whether (1) the removal of snow and ice at a school is a ministerial rather than a discretionary act, and (2) the plaintiff was an identifiable victim because he had a contractual duty to deliver milk to the school. We disagree with both claims and, therefore, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40963 - Sen v. Tsiongas ("In this premises liability action, the plaintiff, Isha Sen, appeals from the summary judgment rendered in favor of the defendant, Kostas Tsiongas. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred in rendering summary judgment in favor of the defendant, who was the landlord of the apartment building in which the plaintiff lived, because there was a disputed issue of material fact as to whether the defendant should have known that the dog of one of the other tenants had vicious propensities. We agree with the plaintiff and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")




Medical Malpractice Supreme Court Opinion

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3632

SC19977 - Traylor v. State ("This appeal arises from the most recent in a series of civil actions that the plaintiff, Sylvester Traylor, has brought in state and federal court relating to the suicide of his wife, Roberta Mae Traylor (Roberta). The plaintiff, who is self-represented, brought the present case against the defendants, who are (1) the state of Connecticut, numerous current and former Superior Court judges, and the Appellate Court (state defendants); (2) Roberta's treating psychiatrist, Bassam Awwa, and his employer, Connecticut Behavioral Health Associates, P.C. (Awwa defendants); and (3) Robert Knowles and Neil Knowles, and their business, Advanced Telemessaging (Knowles defendants). The plaintiff now appeals from the judgment of the trial court, Moll, J., rendered in accordance with its granting of the defendants' motions to dismiss and for summary judgment. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that General Statutes § 52-190a, which requires a plaintiff to append a good faith certificate and supporting opinion letter to the complaint in cases of medical negligence, is unconstitutional. Although the plaintiff fully briefed his attack on the constitutionality of § 52-190a, we cannot reach the merits of that claim because of his failure to challenge the trial court's threshold conclusions that his claims against all of the defendants are barred by, inter alia, the doctrines of res judicata and collateral estoppel. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")



Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3625

AC41115 - Welsh v. Martinez ("The defendant, William V. Martinez, Jr., appeals from the judgment of the trial court holding him in contempt for violating the terms of an asset standstill order. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly (1) found him in contempt because that order lacked sufficient clarity and was ambiguous, (2) failed to consider the defendant's ability to pay in imposing a compensatory fine, and (3) abused its discretion in imposing that fine. We affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


1 2 3 4 5 6 7