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 Slip Opinion

by Booth, George


SC20535 - Larmel v. Metro North Commuter Railroad Co. (Accidental failure of suit statute; whether judgment rendered after mandatory arbitration is "Trial on the merits" that bars plaintiff from utilizing accidental failure of suit statute; whether plaintiff's failure to request trial de novo following entry of arbitrator's decision was "Matter of form" under accidental failure of suit statute; "This certified appeal requires us to consider whether a case that results in a judgment of the trial court in favor of the defendant following a plaintiff's failure to demand a trial de novo after an arbitration proceeding pursuant to General Statutes (Rev. to 2017) § 52-549z has been "tried on its merits," thus barring a subsequent action under the accidental failure of suit statute, General Statutes § 52-592 (a). The Appellate Court's decision in the present case answered this question in the affirmative, and, as a result, that court remanded the case to the trial court with direction to render judgment in favor of the defendant, Metro North Commuter Railroad Company, on a claim of negligence brought by the plaintiff, Phyllis Larmel, that had previously been the subject of mandatory arbitration in a prior civil action. Larmel v. Metro North Commuter Railroad Co., 200 Conn. App. 660, 661–62, 240 A.3d 1056 (2020). In the present appeal, the plaintiff claims that her first action was never "tried on its merits" because there was no formal trial in the first action and that, as a result, the Appellate Court's conclusion was in error. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")