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Tort Law

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.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=786

AC39097 - Cuozzo v. Orange (Personal injury; "In this personal injury action, the plaintiff, Armand Cuozzo, appeals from the summary judgment rendered in favor of the defendants, the town of Orange (town) and the city of West Haven (city). The plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly granted summary judgment because (1) there is a genuine issue of material fact as to the location of the pothole at issue and (2) the acts performed by the defendants were not discretionary in nature. Because we conclude that there is no genuine issue of material fact as to the location of the pothole, we need not reach the plaintiff's second claim. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the court.")

AC39279 - Cusano v. Lajoie (Negligence; "The defendants, Edward Lajoie and Kathleen Weaver, appeal from the judgment of the trial court granting the motion of the plaintiff, Christopher Cusano, for additur in the amount of $2000. On appeal, the defendants argue that the trial court abused its discretion in granting the motion for additur. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39284 - Tara S. v. Charles J. (Sexual assault; "The defendant, Charles J., appeals from the trial court's judgment (1) denying his motion to dismiss the application for a prejudgment remedy filed by the plaintiff, Tara S., and the underlying action, and (2) granting a prejudgment attachment of $150,000 in favor of the plaintiff. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly denied his motion to dismiss because, as applied to him, General Statutes § 52-577d is unconstitutional in that the plaintiff did not repress memories of the sexual assault and, therefore, knew of her potential claim against him for more than thirty years. The defendant also argues that § 52-577d violates his right to a speedy trial, his protection against double jeopardy, and his right to confrontation provided by both the United States and Connecticut constitutions. Finally, the defendant argues that § 52-577d is unconstitutionally overbroad and improperly deprives him of a property interest. 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=780

AC38512 - Rockwell v. Rockwell (Vexatious litigation; "In this vexatious litigation action, the self-represented plaintiff, James W. Rockwell, Jr., appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant Attorney Ian A. Cole. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court (1) improperly bifurcated trial of the issue of probable cause from the issues of malice and damages, (2) violated his right to a jury trial and (3) improperly determined that the defendant had probable cause to prosecute the underlying action. 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=740

AC38350 - Burke v. Mesniaeff (Assault and battery; "In this personal injury action, the plaintiff, Elizabeth Burke, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a jury trial, in favor of the defendant, her former husband Gregory Mesniaeff. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that (1) the court improperly charged the jury on the defendant’s special defense of justification and (2) the special defense of defense of others was legally and factually barred. We 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=732

SC19835 - Bagley v. Adel Wiggins Group (Product liability; "The issue presented by this appeal is whether, in an action brought pursuant to Connecticut's Product Liability Act (act), General Statutes § 52-572m et seq., under strict liability and negligence theories, expert testimony was necessary to prove that a defective, asbestos containing product caused a worker who came in contact with that product to contract a fatal lung disease. The defendant Wyeth Holdings Corporation appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered following a jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff Marianne Bagley. The jury awarded the plaintiff damages for the wrongful death of her husband, Wayne Bagley (decedent), and for loss of consortium after concluding that the decedent's death was caused by the defendant's negligence and by its sale of an unreasonably dangerous product to the decedent's former employer, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation (Sikorsky). The defendant claims that the trial court improperly denied its motion for a directed verdict and its motion to set aside the verdict and for judgment notwithstanding the verdict because the plaintiff failed to prove both that the product at issue was unreasonably dangerous and that it was a legal cause of the decedent's fatal lung disease. We agree and, accordingly, reverse 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=714

AC38608McLeod v. A Better Way Wholesale Autos, Inc. (Fraud; "In this action for damages arising out of the purchase of a used automobile, the defendant, A Better Way Wholesale Autos, Inc., appeals, following a trial to the court, from the judgment rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Brenda McLeod, on counts one through four of her six count complaint. Counts one through four alleged, respectively, that the defendant breached the implied warranty of merchantability, violated the Magnuson-Moss Warranty-Federal Trade Commission Improvement Act (Magnuson-Moss Act), 15 U.S.C. § 2301 et seq., breached an express statutory warranty, and committed common-law fraud. In total, the court awarded the plaintiff $5435 in actual damages, $15,000 in punitive damages, and $7045.35 in attorney's fees. The defendant claims on appeal that the court improperly (1) determined that the defendant had breached the implied warranty of merchantability as alleged in count one because that count previously had been dismissed along with counts five and six at the close of the plaintiff's case-in-chief pursuant to Practice Book § 15-8; (2) determined that the defendant had violated 15 U.S.C. § 2310 (d) of the Magnuson-Moss Act, despite the plaintiff's having pleaded that the alleged violation arose from the defendant's breach of the implied warranty of merchantability as alleged in count one, which the court had dismissed because the plaintiff had failed to establish a prima facie case; (3) awarded the plaintiff attorney's fees; (4) determined that the defendant committed common-law fraud without clear and convincing evidence of either a false statement or intent to defraud; and (5) awarded the plaintiff punitive damages on the fraud count. We agree with the defendant as to all but the fourth claim and, accordingly, reverse in part the judgment of the court and remand the case with direction to render judgment in accordance with this opinion and for a new hearing in damages. We otherwise affirm the court's judgment.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=708

AC38704Smith v. Redding (Public nuisance; "In this absolute public nuisance action, the plaintiff, Brandon V. Smith, appeals following a jury trial from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant town of Redding. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly failed: (1) to admit evidence of involuntary subsequent remedial measures; and (2) to instruct the jury on the Redding Zoning Regulations. 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=692

AC39339 - McFarline v. Mickens (Negligence; "In this negligence action, the plaintiff, Ellen McFarline, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant, Patrick W. Mickens, Jr., administrator of the estate of Janet Mickens (Mickens). The plaintiff claims that the court, in granting the defendant's motion for summary judgment, erred by (1) failing to consider the pleadings, affidavits and other proof submitted in deciding that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact; (2) considering facts outside the confines of this case; (3) violating her right to due process of law by failing to allow her to review evidence from other cases that the court utilized in deciding the motion for summary judgment; (4) failing to apply the 'test' set forth in Sanzone v. Board of Police Commissioners, 219 Conn. 179, 592 A.2d 912 (1991), when determining if there was a chain of causation that included the defendant's negligence in sequence with a highway defect; and (5) denying her postjudgment motions to amend her revised complaint and to reargue the motion for summary judgment. We affirm the judgment of the court.")


Tort Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=676

SC19683 - Sepega v. DeLaura (Negligence; "The common-law firefighter's rule provides, in general terms, that a firefighter or police officer who enters private property in the exercise of his or her duties generally cannot bring a civil action against the property owner for injuries sustained as the result of a defect in the premises. See Levandoski v. Cone, 267 Conn. 651, 653–54, 841 A.2d 208 (2004). The principal issue in this appeal is whether the firefighter's rule should be extended beyond the scope of premises liability so as to bar a police officer from recovering, under a theory of ordinary negligence, from a homeowner who is also an alleged active tortfeasor. The plaintiff, Robert Sepega, a municipal police officer, appeals from the judgment of the trial court in favor of the defendant, Lawrence R. DeLaura, following the granting of a motion to strike. In granting that motion, the trial court concluded that the firefighter's rule barred the plaintiff's sole claim, which sounded in ordinary negligence. We conclude that the firefighter's rule should not be extended beyond claims of premises liability and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court in favor of the defendant and remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings.")

  • SC19683 - Sepega v. DeLaura Concurrence

SC19834 - Lund v. Milford Hospital, Inc. (Negligence; "The plaintiff, Justin Lund, a Connecticut state trooper, brought this action against the defendant, Milford Hospital, Inc., seeking damages for personal injuries sustained while subduing an emotionally disturbed person, Dale Pariseau, who had been committed to the defendant's custody on an emergency basis for psychiatric evaluation. The plaintiff has alleged that the defendant was negligent in numerous ways, including (1) failing to supervise or restrain Pariseau properly, (2) failing to provide for adequate security in the area where foreseeably dangerous patients are held, (3) allowing Pariseau, who was known to be dangerous, to go to the bathroom unrestrained and unaccompanied, and (4) failing to train its staff properly...."

"On appeal, the plaintiff claims primarily that, under this court's subsequent decision in Levandoski v. Cone, 267 Conn. 651, 841 A.2d 208 (2004), the firefighter's rule does not bar police officers from bringing negligence claims in nonpremises liability cases for injuries suffered during the performance of their duties. The plaintiff also claims that the trial court erred in sustaining the objection to the substitute complaint because the allegations set forth therein were materially different from his original complaint. For the reasons that follow, we reverse the judgement of the trial court and remand the case for further proceedings. ")

  • SC19834 - Lund v. Milford Hospital, Inc. Dissent

AC38287 - Pecher v. Distefano (Negligence; "The plaintiff, Stefana Pecher, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, following a jury trial, rendered in favor of the defendant, Rhea Distefano. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court committed harmful error, requiring a new trial, by admitting a document, titled "Release and Hold Harmless Agreement," and a photograph of a sign (photo), both of which, at least in part, purported to relieve the defendant from all liability for injuries arising out of horse related activities at Showtime Stables. The issue in this appeal is whether we can review the plaintiff's claims notwithstanding the fact that she has failed to provide us with a complete record. We conclude that the absence of a complete record restricts our ability to review fully and accurately the plaintiff's claims of harmful error. 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=672

AC38943 - Gostyla v. Chambers (Negligence; "In this negligence action stemming from a motor vehicle collision, the plaintiff, Jeffrey F. Gostyla, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a jury trial, in favor of the defendant, Bryan Chambers. The plaintiff claims that he is entitled to a new trial because the court improperly allowed one of the defendant's expert witnesses, a biomechanical engineer, to provide opinion testimony on a matter that went beyond the purview of his expertise in biomechanics, namely, whether the plaintiff's personal injuries were caused by the collision. Although we agree that the challenged testimony was improper, the plaintiff has not provided us with an adequate record to determine whether the error was harmful. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court. ")


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