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 Supreme Court Opinion

by Mazur, Catherine


SC20130 - Essex Ins. Co. v. William Kramer & Associates, LLC (Negligence; "This case, which comes to us on certification from the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; see General Statutes ยง 51-199b (d); requires us to consider the applicability of our continuing course of conduct tolling doctrine to a relationship between an insurance company and its independent claims adjuster in the period after an insured's claim has been fully paid. The plaintiff insurer, Essex Insurance Company, brought a negligence action against the defendant claims adjuster, William Kramer & Associates, LLC, in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, alleging that the defendant had breached its duty to advise the plaintiff of a mortgage on the insured property before the plaintiff issued the final claim payment check to the insured for hurricane related damage, thereby causing the plaintiff to incur liability to the mortgagee. The plaintiff contended that the limitation period for commencing an action was tolled until the defendant discovered and produced a document in one of its files that reflected the mortgagee's interest during the course of litigation between the mortgagee and the plaintiff. The District Court set aside the jury's verdict in favor of the plaintiff on the ground that there was insufficient evidence to support the jury's finding that a continuing course of conduct tolled the otherwise untimely filed action. See Essex Ins. Co. v. William Kramer & Associates, LLC, United States District Court, Docket No. 3:13-cv-1537 (MPS) (D. Conn. June 8, 2016). The Second Circuit concluded that Connecticut law regarding the contours of this tolling doctrine is unclear and sought our advice as to whether the evidence is legally sufficient to support the jury's finding. See Evanston Ins. Co. v. William Kramer & Associates, LLC, 890 F.3d 40 (2018). We conclude that the evidence is not legally sufficient to toll the statute of limitations on this factual record. ")