PMG Land Associates LLC v. Welch-Rubin & Jacobs LLC
In a legal-malpractice complaint, allegations that the defendant lawyers contracted to use reasonable care and diligence when they provided legal services are sufficient to allege a breach-of-contract count that is separate from a negligence count. The plaintiffs, Patrick O'Keefe, PMG Land Associates and Steven Held, sued the defendant lawyers and law firm, alleging breach of contract, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and recklessness. The defendants moved to strike the breach-of-contract count and alleged it duplicated the negligence counts. The defendants argued that various counts in the plaintiffs' complaint merely restated the same allegations and that the breach-of-contract count should be stricken. The plaintiffs objected that plaintiffs in Connecticut are permitted to allege both breach of contract and legal malpractice in the same complaint. The court found that the plaintiffs' complaint adequately alleged a breach-of-contract count that included allegations that were distinguishable from the allegations in the negligence count. Also, allegations that the defendants consciously and recklessly disregarded or were indifferent to the plaintiffs' rights were sufficient to allege a recklessness count that could be distinguished from the negligence count and did not merely duplicate the same allegations. The court denied the defendants' motion to strike breach-of-contract and recklessness counts.