McLean v. Vision Management LLC
Allegations that a property manager knew about the extent of the plaintiff unit owner's damages claim and advised a condominium association not to file an insurance claim are sufficient to claim that the property manager engaged in unfair trade practices, in violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. In 2004, Kathleen McLean purchased a condominium unit in New Britain. McLean observed that water was seeping into her unit, resulting in moisture and mold. McLean allegedly asked the defendant property manager, Vision Management LLC, and the condominium association to submit a damages claim to the condominium association's insurance carrier and to remediate the leak. McLean sued, alleging that the defendants failed to promptly submit a claim to the insurance carrier and to arrange to remediate the leak. McLean requested that the court issue a writ of mandamus, to order the defendant condominium association to submit a claim to the insurer. The defendant condo association moved to strike and argued that courts may only issue writs of mandamus against public officials. Because Connecticut courts may issue writs of mandamus against non-government entities, the court denied the condominium association's motion to strike the plaintiff's request for a writ of mandamus. The defendant condo association also moved to strike the plaintiff's claim it violated Connecticut General Statutes §47-255(h)(1), which requires the condominium association to repair or to replace promptly any portion of the common elements that is damaged. The court found that the plaintiff's complaint adequately alleged that the defendant failed to make repairs to the common elements, and it denied the motion to strike. The defendant property manager moved to strike the plaintiff's unfair trade practices count and argued that condominium association management activities do not qualify as "trade or commerce" under CUTPA. Viewed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, allegations that the property manager knew about the extent of the plaintiff's damages claim and advised the condominium association not to file an insurance claim are sufficient to allege that the property manager engaged in unfair trade practices, in violation of CUTPA. The court denied the defendants' motion to strike.