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Contract Law

Contract Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2958

SC19878 - Meadowbrook Center, Inc. v. Buchman ("The principal issue in this certified appeal is whether the thirty day deadline provided by Practice Book § 11-21, which governs motions for attorney’s fees, is directory rather than mandatory, thus affording a trial court discretion to entertain untimely motions. The plaintiff, Meadowbrook Center, Inc., a nursing facility, appeals, upon our grant of its petition for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court reversing the judgment of the trial court, which denied as untimely a motion filed by the defendant, Robert Buchman, seeking an award of attorney’s fees pursuant to General Statutes § 42-150bb. Meadowbrook Center, Inc. v. Buchman, 169 Conn. App. 527, 529, 151 A.3d 404 (2016). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that (1) the thirty day deadline provided by Practice Book § 11-21 is mandatory and that, therefore, the Appellate Court improperly concluded that the trial court was required to exercise discretion in deciding whether to entertain the defendant’s untimely motion, and (2) even if the trial court had discretion to entertain an untimely motion for attorney’s fees, the defendant’s motion in the present case was barred as a matter of law. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2959

AC38678 - McMahon v. Middletown ("The plaintiff, Patrick T. McMahon, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant city of Middletown (city). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court contravened General Statutes § 52-178 by denying his counsel’s requests to ask leading questions during the direct examination of the city’s mayor, former mayor, and former acting deputy police chief. We decline to review this unpreserved claim and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2956

AC39197 - Randazzo v. Sakon ("In this amended appeal, the defendant . . . appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered in favor of the plaintiff . . . acting as trustee for A&F Foods, a general partnership. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred in accepting the findings and recommendations of the attorney fact finder . . . and in rendering judgment in accordance with his recommendations. More specifically, the defendant claims that the court improperly: (1) concluded that the plaintiff's cause of action sounds in contract, rather than indemnification, and, therefore, applied the incorrect statute of limitations; (2) concluded that the statute of frauds, General Statutes § 52-550, was inapplicable to this case; and (3) accepted the finding that the town of Glastonbury (town) had imposed real estate taxes on the easement area. We dismiss the defendant's original appeal and, with respect to his amended appeal, we disagree with each of the defendant's claims and, therefore, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2931

AC38910 - Ryan v. Cassella ("This is a case about a misspelled last name. The defendant, Paul A. Cassella, appeals from the denial of his motion to open the judgment of the trial court, following the granting of a motion to correct the default judgment rendered in favor of the plaintiff, John Ryan, in the amount of $8429.42. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court (1) improperly granted the motion to correct filed by the plaintiff and (2) abused its discretion in denying his motion to open. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39668 - Micek-Holt v. Papageorge ("This appeal arises from two cases, which were consolidated for trial, involving a contract for the purchase of certain real property located in Thompson. Mary Papageorge and George Papageorge appeal from the judgments of the trial court, rendered after a court trial, in favor of Andrea Micek-Holt, executrix of the estate of Edward W. Micek. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2915

AC39565 - Carvalhos Masonry, LLC v. S&L Variety Contractors, LLC ("In this action stemming from a construction contract, the defendant, S&L Variety Contractors, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered after a bench trial in favor of the plaintiff, Carvalhos Masonry, LLC. The defendant claims that the trial court should have disqualified itself from deciding the issues of liability and damages when it sent a correspondence to both parties, after the trial but before it rendered its decision, suggesting that they stipulate to a judgment for a specific dollar amount, the exact amount that the court ultimately awarded to the plaintiff. We agree with the defendant and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for a new trial.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1889

AC38887 - Alaimo v. Alaimo ("In this action for damages based on breach of contract, the plaintiff, Benjamin M. Alaimo, appeals, following a bench trial, from the judgment rendered in favor of the defendant, Matthew J. Alaimo. The plaintiff claims that the trial court erred in finding against him on the complaint and in favor of the defendant on his special defenses premised on the statute of limitations and the statute of frauds. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Business Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1883

AC39301 - ASPIC, LLC v. Poitier ("The defendant, Brack G. Poitier, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the prejudgment remedy application filed by the plaintiff, ASPIC, LLC. The defendant claims that the trial court erred in awarding the plaintiff a $1 million prejudgment remedy because he specifically had pleaded, inter alia, a defense of breach of fiduciary duties, which required the court to shift the burden to the plaintiff to establish fair dealing, and the court failed to do so. He also claims that even if the court appears to have shifted the burden, the record was devoid of evidence to demonstrate fair dealing. Finally, the defendant claims that the trial court failed to make any finding that the plaintiff had met its burden to show that there was probable cause that it would prevail in establishing that the transactions at issue were the product of fair dealing. We agree with the defendant and reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1871

AC38482 - Doctor's Associates, Inc. v. Searl ("The defendants, Susan E. Searl and Randy A. Searl, doing business as Subway store number 34648, appeal from the judgment of the trial court, effectively dismissing their motion to vacate an arbitration award for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and granting the application of the plaintiff, Doctor’s Associates, Inc., to confirm that award. On appeal, the defendants claim that the court should have applied federal law, or alternatively New York law, instead of Connecticut law, in determining whether they timely filed their motion to vacate. We conclude that the court should have applied federal law in determining the timeliness of the defendants’ motion to vacate and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for further proceedings.")

AC39135 - General Linen Service Co. v. Cedar Park Inn & Whirlpool Suites ("The defendants, Cedar Park Inn & Whirlpool Suites (Cedar Park Inn) and John G. Syragakis (collectively ‘defendants’), appeal from the denial of their motion to open a judgment rendered in favor of the plaintiff, General Linen Service Company, Inc. A default had been ordered as a result of the defendants’ failure to comply with a discovery order and the trial court rendered judgment after a hearing in damages. The defendants claim that the trial court abused its discretion by not finding that it had lacked subject matter jurisdiction and by instead denying their motion to open because it did not satisfy the requirements of General Statutes § 52-212 (a) and Practice Book § 17-43. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38233 - United Amusement & Vending Co. v. Sabia ("In this action for breach of contract arising out of a commercial lease, the defendant, Daniel Sabia, appeals, following a trial to the court, from the judgment rendered in favor of the plaintiff, United Amusements & Vending Company, on the plaintiff’s single count complaint. The trial court, Hon. Edward F. Stodolink, judge trial referee, awarded $15,000 in damages. The defendant claims on appeal that the trial court (1) failed to find the contract unenforceable based on the defendant’s special defenses of mistake and duress; (2) awarded damages based on unconscionable provisions of the contract; and (3) awarded damages inconsistent with the contract and evidence. We agree with the defendant’s third claim. Accordingly, we reverse in part the judgment of the court and remand the case for a hearing in damages. We otherwise affirm the court’s judgment.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=850

AC39526 - Finney v. Cameron's Auto Towing Repair ("The plaintiff, John K. Finney, commenced this action alleging that the defendant, Cameron’s Auto Towing Repair, breached its contract to repair his vehicle. The defendant denied that it had agreed to repair the plaintiff’s vehicle and filed a counterclaim alleging that the plaintiff had failed to pay it for the towing and storage of his vehicle, and, thus, that he had abandoned it. The plaintiff appeals from the summary judgment rendered in favor of the defendant on his complaint and the defendant’s counterclaim. We conclude that the trial court properly determined that the defendant was entitled to summary judgment on the plaintiff’s complaint because it established that there was no genuine issue of material fact as to its right to prevail on the plaintiff’s claim. We further conclude, however, that the court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of the defendant on its counterclaim against the plaintiff because the defendant failed to state any basis upon which it was entitled to judgment on the claim therein pleaded, either in its motion for summary judgment or in its supporting memorandum of law. Accordingly, we affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


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.")


Contract Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=816

SC19953 - Corsair Special Situations Fund, L.P. v. Engineered Framing Systems, Inc. (“The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit sought this court’s advice as to whether a Connecticut state marshal is entitled to the statutory fee of 15 percent on the amount of the execution ‘for the levy of an execution, when the money is actually collected and paid over, or the debt . . . is secured by the officer’; General Statutes § 52-261 (a) (F); when the marshal properly served the writ of execution on a third party holding a debt owed to the judgment debtor, but the judgment creditor received money from the third party only after a court issued a turnover order.

Pursuant to General Statutes § 51-199b (d), we accepted certification on the following questions from the Second Circuit:

‘(1) Was [intervenor Connecticut State] Marshal [Mark A.] Pesiri entitled to a [15] percent fee under the terms of [§ 52-261 (a) (F)]?

‘(2) In answering the first question, does it matter that the writ was ignored and that the monies that were the subject of the writ were procured only after the judgment creditor, not the marshal, pursued further enforcement proceedings in the courts?’ Corsair Special Situations Fund, L.P. v. Engineered Framing Systems, Inc., 863 F.3d 176, 183 (2d Cir. 2017).

We answer the first question: Yes. We answer the second question: No.”)


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=804

AC38669 - Isenburg v. Isenburg ("The plaintiff, Elizabeth Isenburg, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a trial to the court, awarding her limited damages and other relief against the defendant, Matthew Isenburg, on multiple claims against him. The following facts, as found by the trial court, are relevant to this appeal. The plaintiff and the defendant were in a relationship for fourteen years, from 1998 to 2012. During that period, the plaintiff lived in the defendant’s home. Long before the parties’ relationship began, the defendant owned an extensive collection of early photographs and photographic ephemera (photographic collection), which he ultimately sold in 2012 for fifteen million dollars. Several months after the sale of the photographic collection, the parties’ relationship ended, and the plaintiff moved out of the defendant’s home." ...

"On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred by: (1) excluding large portions of certain exhibits she had offered into evidence at trial; (2) not recusing itself, sua sponte, from the case; (3) finding that there was no express or implied contract between her and the defendant; (4) finding that the defendant did not owe her any fiduciary duty, much less breach such a duty to her; and (5) failing to award her certain other specific damages and property. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=778

AC39304 - Law Offices of Frank N. Peluso, P.C. v. Cotrone ("The defendant, Jerry P. Cotrone, appeals from the judgment rendered after a bench trial in favor of the plaintiff, Law Offices of Frank N. Peluso, P.C., awarding damages in the amount of $32,119.06 on the plaintiff’s claim for unpaid legal fees. The defendant claims on appeal that the court erred in restoring the plaintiff’s case to the docket, in the absence of a timely filed motion to restore, after the plaintiff filed a withdrawal of its action. We agree with the defendant and, thus, 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=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.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=771

AC38893 - Rosenthal v. Bloomfield ("The plaintiffs, a group of twenty-four retirees from the Bloomfield Police Department, appeal from the judgment of the trial court granting the motion for a judgment of dismissal filed by the defendant town of Bloomfield (town) pursuant to Practice Book § 15-8 for failure to make out a prima facie case. The plaintiffs claim that the court erred in so ruling because the evidence submitted set forth a prima facie case that the town breached the parties' collective bargaining agreement by failing to offer insurance benefits that are comparable to benefits under a prior health insurance plan. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=762

AC39034 - Beck & Beck, LLC v. Costello ("The defendant, James T. Costello, appeals from the trial court’s dismissal of his amended counterclaims and cross claims against the plaintiff, Beck & Beck, LLC, and the counterclaim defendant, Kenneth A. Beck. On appeal, the defendant argues that the court erroneously dismissed his counterclaims and cross claims for lack of standing after finding that the claims belonged to his bankruptcy estate and not to him. We disagree, and accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=753

SC19574 - CCT Communications, Inc. v. Zone Telecom, Inc.("The plaintiff, CCT Communications, Inc., appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant, Zone Telecom, Inc., on the plaintiff's complaint and the defendant's counterclaim for damages and declaratory judgment. The case arises from a purchase agreement entered into by the parties in which the plaintiff was to provide various equipment, software, and services to the defendant for a telecommunications switch room located in Los Angeles, California. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court incorrectly rendered judgment in favor of the defendant on the plaintiff's complaint and the defendant's counterclaim. Specifically, the plaintiff asserts that the trial court incorrectly (1) concluded that it breached the purchase agreement by filing a petition for bankruptcy protection under chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code (bankruptcy code); see 11 U.S.C. § 1101 et seq. (2012); (2) determined that a letter from the defendant dated February 5, 2007, was an effective exercise of the defendant's right to terminate the purchase agreement, (3) failed to award the plaintiff certain damages on count one of its complaint, and (4) awarded the defendant damages, costs, and attorney's fees in excess of a limitation of liability clause in the purchase agreement. We agree that the trial court incorrectly concluded that the plaintiff's bankruptcy petition constituted a breach of the purchase agreement and permitted the defendant to terminate that agreement. We therefore reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=736

AC38122 - Frauenglass & Associates, LLC v. Enagbare ("The self-represented defendant appeals from the award of attorney’s fees and interest. Specifically, she claims that the court improperly failed to consider (1) newly discovered evidence that the judgment had been obtained by fraud, (2) evidence that the plaintiff’s attorney, Robert H. Weinstein, committed a fraud by fabricating invoices and tampering with evidence, (3) her claim of a violation of General Statutes § 53a-155 (a) and (4) that the plaintiff’s conduct violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), § 42-110a et seq. We conclude that the defendant’s arguments in the present action constitute an improper collateral attack on the judgment in the underlying action and that she failed to challenge the propriety of the May 5, 2015 award of attorney’s fees and statutory interest. Last, her allegations of evidence of newly discovered fraud were not raised properly before the trial court and cannot be considered for the first time on appeal. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=697

AC38236 - Pellet v. Keller Williams Realty Corp. ("The named plaintiff, Daniel Pellet, acting in his capacity as guardian for his brother, Stephen Pellet, appeals from the judgment of the trial court directing a verdict in favor of the defendants Keller Williams Realty Corporation (Keller Williams), Michael Ladden, David Olson, Pina Jenkins, Jason Kilduff, and Kimberly Kilduff as to all eight counts of the plaintiff’s substitute complaint, and from the trial court’s granting of the defendants’ motions for a special finding pursuant to General Statutes § 52-226a. The plaintiff argues that the court improperly (1) directed the verdict in favor of the defendants because it erroneously (a) equated all of the plaintiff’s allegations to claims of professional negligence and (b) determined that, as such, they must fail for lack of expert testimony as to the applicable standard of care; and (2) found that the plaintiff brought the action without merit and in bad faith pursuant to § 52-226a. We reverse the judgment and special finding of the court, and remand the case for a new trial.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=667

AC38210 - Aldin Associates Ltd. Partnership v. Hess Corp. ("The plaintiff franchisee, Aldin Associates Limited Partnership, commenced this three count action against the defendant franchisor, Hess Corporation, alleging that the defendant stifled the plaintiff’s ability to compete with other gasoline retail stations, causing it to incur losses in sales volumes and profits, by charging unreasonably high wholesale gasoline prices in violation of the Connecticut Petroleum Product Franchise Act, General Statutes § 42-133j et seq., the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), General Statutes § 42-110a et seq. After denying the plaintiff’s claim for a trial by jury on the ground that the plaintiff had executed valid written waivers of its right to a jury trial, the trial court conducted a bench trial and rendered judgment for the defendant on all three counts, finding that the plaintiff failed to prove its damages with a sufficient degree of certainty. The plaintiff appeals, claiming that the court (1) improperly denied its claim for a trial by jury, and (2) erroneously found that the plaintiff failed to prove damages as to any of its causes of action with a sufficient degree of certainty. We disagree with the plaintiff’s claim with regard to the jury trial waivers, but agree that the court’s finding that the plaintiff failed to prove damages with the requisite degree of certainty was clearly erroneous. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for further proceedings.")


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