Samaniego v. The Taubman Co. LLC d/b/a Stamford Town Center
Connecticut General Statutes §52-593 can permit a plaintiff who mistakenly files suit against a defendant's registered trade name to file another suit against the actual defendant, after the original complaint against the registered trade name is dismissed. On March 9, 2008, the plaintiff, Paul Samaniego, allegedly was assaulted in a public restroom in the Stamford Town Center. In February 2010, Samaniego commenced a suit against the Stamford Town Center, alleging that the Stamford Town Center did not provide adequate security. On or about June 1, 2010, a court dismissed Samaniego's original complaint, because the Stamford Town Center is a registered trade name, and it does not constitute a legal entity. The plaintiff delivered an amended summons and complaint to a state marshal on May 24, 2011. The marshal served the defendant, The Taubman Co. LLC, doing business as Stamford Town Center, on June 6, 2011. The Taubman Company moved for summary judgment. Connecticut General Statutes §52-593 provides, "When a plaintiff in any civil action has failed to obtain judgment by reason of failure to name the right person as defendant therein, the plaintiff may bring a new action and the statute of limitations shall not be a bar thereto if service of process in the new action is made within one year after the termination of the original action." The court found that C.G.S. §52-593 applied, because the plaintiff was confused about the registered trade name and the proper legal name of the defendant. "A plaintiff who sues a trade name," wrote the court, "is attempting to sue some other entity, generally the owner of the trade name, but he misunderstands which entity is real." The court denied the defendant's motion for summary judgment on its special defense that C.G.S. §52-593 did not apply to save the plaintiff's suit.