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Tort Law

Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2998

AC39731 - Plainville v. Almost Home Animal Rescue & Shelter, Inc. (Negligence per se; "The plaintiffs, the town of Plainville (town) and Donna Weinhofer, the town's animal control officer, appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant, Almost Home Animal Rescue and Shelter, Inc., following the court's granting of the defendant's motion to strike both counts of the plaintiffs' two count complaint. Count one of the complaint sounded in negligence per se and alleged that the defendant, which operates an animal rescue facility, had failed to care for animals in its custody in violation of General Statutes § 53-247 (a), and that this violation caused the plaintiffs to suffer damages, namely, costs that the town incurred for medical care, shelter, food, and water for the affected animals. Count two sounded in unjust enrichment and was premised on the defendant's failure to reimburse the town for its expenditures in caring for the seized animals.

"On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the trial court improperly (1) applied an incorrect legal standard in deciding the motion to strike; (2) struck count one of the complaint on the bases that § 53-247 did not establish a duty or standard of care for purposes of maintaining a negligence per se action and that the plaintiffs are not among the class of persons protected by § 53-247; and (3) struck count two of the complaint on the basis that General Statutes § 22-329a (h) provides the exclusive remedy for the damages alleged by the plaintiffs, thus precluding an action for unjust enrichment, and did so without considering and addressing the plaintiffs' argument that the defendant had stipulated in a prior action that the plaintiffs were entitled to seek damages without regard to § 22-329a. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the court.")


Employment Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3001

SC19817 - MacDermid, Inc. v. Leonetti ("The defendant, Stephen J. Leonetti, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a jury trial, in favor of the plaintiff, MacDermid, Inc., on its claim of unjust enrichment. On appeal, the defendant contends the following: (1) the plaintiff’s unjust enrichment claim is barred by collateral estoppel on the basis of the proceedings underlying our decision in Leonetti v. MacDermid, Inc., 310 Conn. 195, 76 A.3d 168 (2013); (2) the plaintiff’s recovery is precluded by General Statutes §§ 31-290 and 31-296 (a), the terms of a termination agreement (agreement) between the parties, and public policy; (3) the trial court’s jury instructions were improper; and (4) the trial court improperly excluded certain evidence. The plaintiff disagrees and claims that many of the defendant’s arguments are unpreserved, inadequately briefed, or both. We agree with the plaintiff. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2989

AC38683 - Micalizzi v. Stewart (Negligence; "In this personal injury action arising from an automobile collision, the jury found in favor of the plaintiff, Robin Micalizzi, and awarded her all of her claimed economic damages but zero noneconomic damages. She filed a motion to set aside the verdict and, in the alternative, for an additur on the ground that she also was entitled to noneconomic damages.The trial court denied that motion, and the plaintiff appealed from that denial. She claims that the court abused its discretion by (1) refusing to set aside the verdict or to order an additur because the jury's verdict was inconsistent and inadequate, and (2) refusing to set aside the verdict because of procedural irregularities. We do not agree. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2983

SC19891 - FirstLight Hydro Generating Co. v. Stewart (Trepass; "This appeal arises from an action in which the plaintiff . . . alleged that the defendants . . . were trespassing on property that the plaintiff owned along the shore of Candlewood Lake (lake). The trial court rendered judgment for the plaintiff in part. On appeal, the defendants claim that (1) there was insufficient evidence to prove the plaintiff's ownership of the subject property, and (2) the trial court abused its discretion by ordering injunctive relief that was overly broad and exceeded the scope of the relief sought by the plaintiff. We conclude that there is sufficient evidence to support the trial court's finding that the plaintiff owned the subject property and, thus, that the trial court properly found that the defendants had trespassed on the plaintiff's property. We further conclude that the scope of the trial court's injunctive relief is not overly broad. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2970

AC40240 - Anderson v. Ocean State Job Lot (False arrest; "The self-represented plaintiff, Michael Anderson, brought this action alleging that the defendants, Ocean State Job Lot, William Lapore, Tiffany Canon and Robin Givens, furnished false information, causing his false arrest and malicious prosecution. Before trial, the defendants moved to dismiss the action on the ground that the plaintiff failed to appear for a court-ordered deposition on November 18, 2016, which the court granted on December 12, 2016. The plaintiff then moved to open the judgment on the basis that he was incarcerated at the time of the deposition and was prevented from attending through no fault of his own, which the court denied on January 9, 2017. This appeal followed.

On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the defendants' attorney (1) 'influenced the court . . . to grant the dismissal using lies, misrepresentations and deceptions to prevail on his motions and ignored the plaintiff's handwritten change of address notice that the plaintiff mailed to him on November 3, 2016,' and (2) 'thereafter sought to produce false documents and take certain action to deceive the court and deprive the plaintiff of his right of action and remedy by fraud.' We affirm the judgment of the court.")

AC39398 - Windsor v. Loureiro Engineering Associates (Professional negligence; "The plaintiff, the town of Windsor, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendants Newman Architects, LLC, Herbert S. Newman, and Michael Raso. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly discharged the jury and rendered judgment as a matter of law on the defendants' special defense asserting that the plaintiff's action was barred by the seven year statute of limitations set forth in General Statutes § 52-584a. We conclude that the court properly rendered judgment as a matter of law in favor of the defendants and, accordingly, affirm the judgment.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2954

AC39157 - Desmond v. Yale-New Haven Hospital, Inc. (Statutory theft; "The plaintiff, Sandhya Desmond, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing her complaint against the defendants, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Inc. (hospital), and Yale-New Haven Health Services, Inc., alleging statutory theft, common-law fraud, violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), General Statutes § 42-110a et seq., breach of contract, and statutory negligence. The plaintiff claims that the court improperly (1) determined that it lacked jurisdiction over her claim for statutory theft because the exclusivity provision of the Workers' Compensation Act (act), General Statutes § 31-275 et seq., barred her from bringing such a claim in the Superior Court, and (2) denied her request for leave to amend her complaint to add a claim for retaliatory discrimination pursuant to General Statutes § 31-290a. We affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39574 - Osborn v. Waterbury (Negligence; "This personal injury action concerns the injuries the minor plaintiff, Tatayana Osborn (child), sustained during a lunchtime recess at her elementary school. The defendants, the City of Waterbury (city) and the Waterbury Board of Education (board), appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiffs. On appeal, the defendants claim that the trial court improperly (1) rejected their special defense of governmental immunity for discretionary acts, (2) concluded that the plaintiffs' injuries were caused when an inadequate number of adults were assigned to supervise up to 400 students when there was evidence that there were no more than fifty students on the playground, (3) found in the absence of expert testimony that one student intern and three or four staff members was insufficient to control as many as 400 students on the playground, and (4) awarded damages intended to encourage continued therapy and occupational training for the child in the absence of evidence that she would need such services in the future. We agree with the defendants' third claim and conclude, as a matter of law, that without expert testimony, the court could not properly have found that the defendants breached their duty of care to the child because there was an inadequate number of adults on the playground to supervise the students at the time the child was injured. We, therefore, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2945

AC39321 - Fiano v. Old Saybrook Fire Co. No. 1, Inc. (Negligence; "In this negligence action arising from a motor vehicle accident between the plaintiff, Michael A. Fiano, and the defendant James M. Smith, the plaintiff appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendants Old Saybrook Fire Company No. 1, Inc. (fire company), and the town of Old Saybrook (town). The plaintiff first claims that the court erred by granting the fire company's motion to reargue/reconsider its denial of a motion for summary judgment filed by the defendants.Second, the plaintiff claims that the court erred by rendering summary judgment for the defendants on the plaintiff's vicarious liability claims.We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39381 - Ruiz v. Victory Properties, LLC (Negligence; "In this appeal from the judgment of the trial court denying a motion to open a summary judgment, we consider the interplay between (1) General Statutes § 52-212a, which places a four month limit on the trial court's inherent authority to open or set aside a judgment; (2) the doctrine of finality of judgments; and (3) the automatic stay provision of Practice Book § 61-11 (a), which, in applicable civil cases, prohibits any proceeding to enforce or carry out a final judgment or order during the appeal period and, if an appeal is filed, until a final determination of that appeal.

"The plaintiffs, Adriana Ruiz and Olga Rivera, claim on appeal that the trial court improperly declined to open a summary judgment on counts three and four of their complaint that had been rendered years earlier in favor of the defendants, Victory Properties, LLC (Victory), John R. Kovalcik, and Intepros, Inc. (Intepros).In the plaintiffs' view, the fourth month limitation period contained in § 52-212a had been stayed by the filing of an earlier appeal by them challenging a summary judgment rendered in favor of Victory on counts one and two of their complaint. We affirm the judgment of the trial court denying the plaintiffs' motion to open.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2928

AC39298 - Binkowski v. Board of Education (Negligence; "The plaintiff, Amy Binkowski, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendants Yolanda Jones-Generette and Linda O'Brien following the granting of their motion to strike her third revised complaint. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly concluded that her complaint failed, as a matter of law, to allege facts that would bring it within the intentional tort exception to the exclusivity provision of the Workers' Compensation Act (act), General Statutes § 31-275 et seq., as set forth in General Statutes § 31-293a. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39260 - McCarroll v. East Haven (Negligence; "This personal injury action concerns the injuries the minor plaintiff, Mason McCarroll (child), sustained when he fell from a playscape he was climbing on at an elementary school playground. The plaintiffs appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered when it granted the motion for summary judgment filed by the defendant, the town of East Haven. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that, in granting the defendant's motion for summary judgment, the court improperly concluded that their claims were barred by the doctrine of governmental immunity. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1903

AC38226 - Davidson v. Bridgeport (Right to privacy; "The plaintiff, Bobby Davidson, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a trial to the court, in favor of the defendants, the city of Bridgeport (city), the Bridgeport Police Department (department), and Bryan T. Norwood, former Bridgeport chief of police. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly found that the defendants did not (1) violate his state right to privacy or (2) negligently or intentionally cause him emotional distress. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38699, AC38792, AC38793 - Rutter v. Janis (Personal injury; "In these consolidated appeals, a principal issue in each of the cases is the meaning and application of the phrase 'not more than thirty days' set forth in General Statutes § 14-60 (a). The trial court, in rendering summary judgment in each of the three consolidated cases, from which the plaintiffs have appealed, interpreted that phrase to require the exclusion of May 9, 2013, the date on which a 'Temporary Loan of Motor Vehicles' agreement (loan agreement) between Luis Martins and the defendant Danbury Fair Hyundai, LLC, was executed, from the computation of that thirty day period. The plaintiffs claim on appeal that the court erred in determining that the loan of a dealer number plate, pursuant to the loan agreement for use on a 2013 Hyundai Veloster automobile that the Martins had purchased, did not exceed the thirty day period set forth in § 14-60 (a). The plaintiffs also claim that the court erred in finding that the defendant fully complied with the requirements of § 14-60 (a), resulting in its protection from liability to the plaintiffs. We disagree, and, accordingly, affirm the judgments of the trial court.")


Tort Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1897

SC19806 - Harnage v. Lightner (Civil action against state employees; "The self-represented plaintiff, James A. Harnage, appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court; see Harnage v. Lightner, 163 Conn. App. 337, 362, 137 A.3d 10 (2016); affirming the judgment of the trial court, which dismissed his action against the defendant state employees in their individual capacities for lack of personal jurisdiction due to insufficient service of process. We granted the plaintiff's petition for certification to appeal, limited to the following question: "Did the Appellate Court properly conclude that the plaintiff's action against the defendants in their individual capacities properly was dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction?" Harnage v. Lightner, 323 Conn. 902, 150 A.3d 683 (2016). We answer the certified question in the affirmative. ")

AC38581 - Brady v. Bickford (Intentional infliction of emotional distress; "The claims of emotional distress and defamation at issue in this appeal arise out of a long-running family dispute involving malicious gossip and unsubstantiated allegations of police misconduct that led to two state police internal affairs investigations, two arrests of the same defendant, a protective order, intervention by the Attorney General and the Department of Public Safety, a complaint to the Freedom of Information Commission (commission), and a daughter's refusing further contact with her parents. Following a four day trial to the court, the court concluded that the statements at issue were protected by the litigation privilege and rendered judgment in favor of the defendants. The litigation privilege affords absolute immunity to the speaker and implicates the court's subject matter jurisdiction. We vacate the judgment of the trial court and remand the case with direction to render a judgment of dismissal.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1892

SC19828 - Doe v. West Hartford ("This certified appeal requires us to construe General Statutes § 52-593a, a remedial savings statute that operates to render an action timely commenced as long as process is delivered to a marshal prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations and served within thirty days. The defendants, three groups of individuals and entities involved in the 2007 involuntary psychiatric hospitalization of the plaintiff, John Doe, appeal from the judgment of the Appellate Court, which reversed the trial court's rendering of summary judgment in their favor. They claim that the Appellate Court improperly concluded that (1) the requirement in § 52-593a (b) that a marshal shall endorse under oath on the return of service the date on which process was delivered to him or her, is directory, rather than mandatory, and (2) there existed a genuine issue of material fact concerning whether the plaintiff had delivered the process to a marshal within the applicable limitation period. We conclude that § 52-593a (b) does not preclude a plaintiff from proving timely delivery of process to the marshal by means other than the statutorily prescribed method. We further conclude that there existed a genuine issue of material fact as to whether timely delivery was made. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1872

AC38670 - Megos v. Ranta (Personal injury; "In this appeal, we are called upon to answer one very important question, namely, whether an action brought pursuant to General Statutes § 52-62 is 'commenced' upon service of process on the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles (commissioner). We answer that question in the affirmative. The plaintiff in the present case, Richard Megos, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his complaint, brought pursuant to the accidental failure of suit statute, General Statutes § 52-592, on the ground that the original § 52-62 action had not been 'commenced' because the defendant, Karin Ranta, did not have actual notice of the suit before the running of the applicable statute of limitations. On appeal, the plaintiff claims this was error. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=857

SC19850 - Martinez v. New Haven ("The principal issue in this appeal is whether the trial court properly determined that the named plaintiff, Anthony Martinez, proved the imminent harm to identifiable persons exception to the defense of governmental immunity with respect to facial injuries that he sustained when other students engaged in horseplay by running with a pair of safety scissors in the auditorium of his school. The plaintiff commenced this action against the defendants, the city of New Haven (city), the Board of Education of the City of New Haven (board), and Garth Harries, the Superintendent of New Haven Public Schools, seeking damages for, inter alia, their negligent supervision of students pursuant to General Statutes § 52-557n (a). On appeal, the defendants claim, inter alia, that the trial court improperly held that the plaintiff satisfied the imminent harm to identifiable persons exception to governmental immunity, which this court recently clarified in Haynes v. Middletown, 314 Conn. 303, 101 A.3d 249 (2014). The plaintiff disagrees, and also claims, as an alternative ground for affirming the judgment of the trial court, that the defendants failed to plead governmental immunity as a special defense in the operative answer. We conclude that the plaintiff has failed to prove that the defendants’ conduct had subjected an identifiable person to imminent harm. We also conclude that the trial court implicitly granted the defendants’ request to amend their answer to plead governmental immunity as a special defense. Accordingly, we reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=847

SC191723 - Lucenti v. Laviero ("In this certified appeal, we consider the contours of the proof necessary, under Suarez v. Dickmont Plastics Corp., 229 Conn. 99, 111, 639 A.2d 507 (1994) (Suarez I), and Suarez v. Dickmont Plastics Corp., 242 Conn. 255, 280–81, 698 A.2d 838 (1997) (Suarez II), for an employee to establish an employer's subjective intent to create a dangerous situation with a 'substantial certainty of injury' to the employee, for purposes of avoiding application of General Statutes § 31-284 (a), the exclusive remedy provision of the Workers' Compensation Act (act), General Statutes § 31-275 et seq. The plaintiff, Dominick Lucenti, appeals, upon our grant of his petition for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants, Greg Laviero and Martin Laviero Contractors, Inc. (Laviero Contractors). Lucenti v. Laviero, 165 Conn. App. 429, 441, 139 A.3d 752 (2016). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the Appellate Court improperly concluded that evidence regarding warnings to Laviero from the plaintiff and other employees about the dangers posed by the use of a particular excavator, which would operate only when 'rigged' to run at full throttle, did not establish a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the defendants subjectively believed that the plaintiff's subsequent injuries from the use of that excavator were substantially certain to occur. We conclude that, in the absence of any evidence demonstrating the hallmarks typical of such employer misconduct, the plaintiff has failed to establish a genuine issue of material fact with respect to the defendants' subjective beliefs. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court."


Tort Law Supreme and Appellate Opinions

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=836

SC19873 - Byrne v. Avery Center for Obstetrics & Gynecology, P.C. (Negligence; "The plaintiff, Emily Byrne, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant, Avery Center for Obstetrics and Gynecology, P.C., on two counts of the operative complaint alleging, respectively, negligence and negligent infliction of emotional distress. On appeal, the plaintiff asserts that the trial court incorrectly granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant on these counts because it incorrectly concluded that the defendant, as a health care provider, owed the plaintiff no common-law duty of confidentiality. We agree with the plaintiff and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39296 - Pettiford v. State (Negligence; "In this action arising out of a motor vehicle collision with a pedestrian, the plaintiff Michael Pettiford appeals, following a trial to the court, from the judgment rendered in favor of the defendant, the state of Connecticut. The court concluded that the plaintiff was 'at least' 60 percent contributorily negligent for his injuries and, thus, was barred from recovering damages on the basis of the defendant's negligence in accordance with General Statutes § 52-572h (b). The plaintiff claims on appeal that he is entitled to a new trial because the court's comparative negligence calculus rested on the court's erroneous determination that there was not an unmarked crosswalk at the location where the plaintiff was struck by the defendant's vehicle. The defendant disputes the existence of an unmarked crosswalk and also argues in the alternative that the existence of an unmarked crosswalk, or lack thereof, is legally insignificant because the trial court found that the plaintiff had failed to prove how and where along the roadway he crossed at the time of the accident. We agree with the defendant that the court properly determined that no unmarked crosswalk existed but conclude in the alternative that, even if an unmarked crosswalk existed, the plaintiff failed to demonstrate that he was in or very near that crosswalk at the time he was hit by the defendant's vehicle, and, therefore, we lack any basis from which to determine whether the claimed error undermined the court's judgment. Because the form of the judgment was improper, however, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case with direction to render judgment in favor of the defendant.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=829

AC38813 - Estela v. Bristol Hospital, Inc. ("This appeal is the latest installment in a long and protracted litigation between the parties. The plaintiff, Jose Estela, a physician, appeals from the trial court’s judgment that his case could not be maintained under the accidental failure of suit statute, General Statutes § 52-592 (a), because his first action against the defendant, Bristol Hospital, Inc., was dismissed for 'serious disciplinary reasons' and not as a matter of form. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that (1) the defendant waived the right to challenge the applicability of § 52-592 (a); (2) the court incorporated a different and higher standard into its decision and thus deprived him of his rights under Ruddock v. Burrowes, 243 Conn. 569, 706 A.2d 967 (1998), by limiting the § 52- 592 (a) hearing to the standard set forth in General Statutes § 52-212; (3) his alleged discovery noncompliance occurred in circumstances such as mistake, inadvertence, or excusable neglect; and (4) § 52-592 (a) applies to any judgment of nonsuit. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=825

AC39392 - Boykin v. State (Personal injury; "The plaintiff, Eric Boykin, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing the present action against the defendants, the state of Connecticut and James P. Redeker, Commissioner of Transportation (commissioner), for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The plaintiff claims that the court improperly concluded that sovereign immunity deprived it of subject matter jurisdiction because his written notice of claim pursuant to the state highway defect statute, General Statutes § 13a-144, was patently defective in its description of the cause of his injury. We agree with the plaintiff, and accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=807

SC19656 - Hull v. Newtown (Personal injury; "This appeal requires us to determine whether certain policy and procedures of the Newtown Police Department (department) imposed a ministerial duty on its officers to search Stanley Lupienski, an individual suffering from auditory hallucinations and shortness of breath, when they took him into custody pursuant to General Statutes § 17a-503 (a). The plaintiffs, Andrew Hull and Erica Hull, appeal from the judgment of the trial court granting summary judgment in favor of the defendant, the town of Newtown. The plaintiffs contend that the arrest section of the department's policy (arrest policy) imposes a ministerial, nondiscretionary duty on the police to search anyone taken into custody, including those taken into custody pursuant to § 17a-503 (a). See Newtown Board of Police Commissioners, Newtown Police Policy and Procedure 3.00 (revised February 1, 2005) (Police Policy). Alternatively, the plaintiffs argue that Lupienski was a prisoner and, therefore, subject to mandatory search under the department's prisoner transportation section of the policy (transportation policy). See id., 3.07 (revised May 5, 2009). The defendant counters that the arrest policy applies only in the context of criminal arrest and does not apply in the context of civil mental health custody, which is governed by § 17a-503 (a). The defendant also argues that the transportation policy does not apply to those under custody pursuant to § 17a-503 (a). We agree with the defendant and, therefore, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=805

SC19570 - Williams v. Housing Authority (Negligence; "This certified appeal arises out of a tragic fire in which four residents of a Bridgeport public housing complex—Tiana N.A. Black and her three young children—lost their lives. The plaintiff, Twila Williams, as administratrix of the estate of each decedent, brought the present action against the Bridgeport Fire Department and five Bridgeport city officials—Fire Chief Brian Rooney, Fire Marshal William Cosgrove, Mayor William Finch, Zoning Administrator Dennis Buckley, and Building Official Peter Paajanen—(collectively, the municipal defendants) as well as various other defendants who are not parties to the present appeal. The plaintiff alleged, among other things, that the decedents died as a result of the municipal defendants' negligent failure to inspect the smoke detection equipment in their apartment unit for compliance with applicable fire safety codes and regulations. The trial court, Sommer, J., rendered summary judgment for the municipal defendants, concluding, with respect to their alleged failure to inspect, that Connecticut's municipal liability statute, General Statutes § 52-557n, afforded them immunity from liability. The Appellate Court reversed, concluding that a jury reasonably could find that the conduct of the municipal defendants demonstrated 'a reckless disregard for health or safety under all the relevant circumstances' and, therefore, that they were potentially liable pursuant to § 52-557n (b) (8). Williams v. Housing Authority, 159 Conn. App. 679, 696, 124 A.3d 537 (2015). We affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=801

AC39274 - Wiederman v. Halpert (Breach of fiduciary duty; "In this action arising from a real estate investment agreement, the defendants Isaac Halpert and Marsha Halpert appeal from the judgment of the trial court denying their motion to open the judgment rendered against them following a hearing in damages held after they had been defaulted for failing to appear at a trial management conference. The trial court held a hearing in damages and awarded the plaintiff, Malkie Wiederman, $600,892.58 in compensatory and punitive damages, attorney's fees and costs, on her claims of breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, conversion and bad faith. The defendants claim on appeal that (1) the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to hear the plaintiff's claims because the plaintiff did not have standing to assert them; (2) the trial court failed to make a determination as to the legal sufficiency of the plaintiff's claims of breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, conversion and bad faith; (3) there was no causal connection between the defendants' allegedly wrongful conduct and the losses for which the court awarded the plaintiff compensatory damages; (4) the trial court erred in finding Marsha Halpert liable for fraud and conversion absent sufficient allegations of those claims against her; and (5) the court erred in awarding the plaintiff punitive damages in addition to attorney's fees on her claim of fraud. The defendants concede that they failed to raise any of the foregoing claims in their motion to open the judgment, and thus that the law ordinarily precludes this court from considering those claims on appeal. The defendants nevertheless seek review of their claim that court erred in denying their motion to open on the grounds that the plaintiff lacked standing to assert her claims against the defendants and thus that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction, and that the judgment contained plain errors that resulted in manifest injustice. We agree that the plaintiff failed to properly plead a claim for conversion against Marsha Halpert, and thus that the court's judgment finding her liable for conversion must be reversed. We also agree with the defendants' claim that the court committed plain error in awarding the plaintiff punitive damages in addition to attorney's fees on her claim of fraud, and thus we conclude that the award of punitive damages must be vacated.")


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