Partch v. Wilton Meadows Healthcare Corp.
Allegations that a nursing facility wrongly claimed that a patient lacked a healthcare agent and conservator—although it knew that a patient had designated a relative as a healthcare agent and conservator—can be sufficient to allege misrepresentation and violation of CUTPA, the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. The plaintiff, Majorie Partch, alleged the following facts. In 2004, Partch moved from Vermont to Connecticut to care for her mother. Partch resided with her mother, and they enjoyed a close bond. In 2005, Partch's mother named Partch as her healthcare agent and attorney-in-fact for healthcare decisions. The mother signed a power of attorney and designated Partch as her conservator, in the event that a conservator was necessary. In 2010, Partch's mother had a stroke, and she went to the defendant's healthcare facility. Allegedly, when the defendant discovered that the mother owned substantial assets, it applied for the appointment of a conservator and claimed that Partch's mother did not designate a healthcare agent, although it knew the mother had designated Partch as healthcare agent and conservator, if a conservator were required. In 2010, the Probate Court appointed Matthew Caputo as the mother's conservator. Caputo allegedly evicted the plaintiff from her mother's residence. The plaintiff sued the healthcare facility, alleging it was negligent, it engaged in negligent misrepresentation and it violated CUTPA, the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. The defendant moved to dismiss and argued that the plaintiff lacked standing. The court found that the plaintiff was classically aggrieved. A Probate Court appeal, even if successful, would not redress the plaintiff's injuries. Considered in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, she alleged that she provided compensation to her mother in return for room and lodging and that she was evicted and suffered financial loss and emotional distress, as a result of the defendant's alleged misrepresentation. The plaintiff's complaint alleged direct injuries that were not too remote to the allegedly wrongful conduct. The court denied the defendant's motion.