Anachack v. Sikand
"The existence of the proximate cause of an injury is determined by looking from the injury to the negligent act complained of for the necessary causal connection," pursuant to Alexander v. Vernon, a 2007 decision of the Connecticut Appellate Court. Allegedly, the plaintiff, Unchu Anachack, hired the defendant realtor, Baljit Mamak, of B/W Realty LLC, to find temporary housing, and Mamak located temporary housing and indicated that there was sufficient propane at the residence to keep Anachack's family warm during the winter. Anachack signed the lease. There was insufficient propane, and the landlord gave Anachack a kerosene heater when the propane was used. Allegedly, Anachack splashed kerosene when attempting to fill the kerosene heater, and she was severely burned when her clothes ignited. Anachack sued her realtor, Mamak, and his company, alleging that Mamak negligently misrepresented that there was enough propane. The defendants moved to strike and argued that they did not owe Anachack a duty of care, to protect her from the risk that she would ignite her clothes when attempting to use a kerosene heater. Even if the defendants possessed that duty, they maintained that their negligence was not a proximate cause of Anachack's injuries. To prevail, Anachack must prove duty, breach of duty, causation and damages. A causal connection must be based on more than conjecture. The plaintiff might have sustained the same injury, if a mechanical failure or power outage had taken place. "Assuming that the realtor uttered the negligent misrepresentation about the quantity of available propane," wrote the court, "the manner in which the injury occurred was independent of that negligent misrepresentation and could have enfolded in the same way even if the loss of use of the propane heat source arose innocently." The plaintiff's complaint failed to adequately allege proximate cause, and the court granted the defendants' motion to strike.