Recent Decisions

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

Town of Newtown and CSEA, Local 2001

Worker Alleged that Town Did Not Pay Full Longevity Bonus

A collective bargaining contract that provides that "Any employee" shall receive a longevity bonus based on years of service to the municipality may not prevent workers who previously worked in another bargaining unit from counting the prior years of municipal service.

2015-A-0036
Diaz, Panagrossi and Johnson

Practice Areas: Administrative Law , Alternative Dispute Resolution , Arbitration (ADR) , Labor and Employment , Labor Law , Collective Bargaining Agreements , Wages and Hours

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

Town of Farmington and AFSCME, Council 4, Local 1689

Maintenance Worker with Cancer Required To Document Sick Leave

A municipality that reasonably suspects that an employee may be abusing sick leave can require that the employee provide a doctor's certificate or other proof of illness in the future.

2013-A-0193
Panagrossi, Melita and Celentano

Practice Areas: Administrative Law , Alternative Dispute Resolution , Arbitration (ADR) , Labor and Employment , Labor Law , Collective Bargaining Agreements , Employee Benefits , Health Benefits

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

Metropolitan District Comm'n and AFSCME, Council 4, Local 184

Employer Argued that Grievance about Seniority Was Moot

A preference exists to arbitrate grievances about seniority, even if all the employees in the collective bargaining unit are currently treated the same.

2015-A-0111
Weiner and Franzo – Podurgiel dissented

Practice Areas: Administrative Law , Alternative Dispute Resolution , Arbitration (ADR) , Labor and Employment , Labor Law , Collective Bargaining Agreements , Working Conditions , Wages and Hours

United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit

Tremblay v. Mohegan Sun Casino

Title VII and ADEA Claims Against Sun Casino Were Properly Dismissed

Title VII expressly excludes Native American Indian tribes from its definition of "employer."

14-2031-cv

Practice Areas: Native American Law , Labor and Employment , Discrimination , Age Discrimination , Hiring/Firing

Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Court

Waterman v. Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enter.

Steve Miller Concertgoer Was 40 Percent Responsible for Fall

A court can find that a concertgoer who previously sat in approximately the same seat when she went to concerts was negligent in not being more cautious, considering the lack of lighting, when she exited and left, just before intermission.

CV-PI-2013-191
Londregan, J.

Practice Areas: Native American Law , Torts , Premises Liability , Invitees

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Mills v. Harrison

Abuse-of-Process Claim Against Attorney CPA Harrison Dismissed

Absent allegations that an attorney grievance complaint was filed primarily to intimidate and to prevent plaintiff from disputing defendant's billing practices and methodology, plaintiff may not possess a cause of action for abuse of process.

CV14-6050939S
Fischer, J.

Practice Areas: Torts , Intentional Torts , Abuse of Process

New Britain J.D., at New Britain

Lassen v. Cappiello

$103,821 Verdict Failed To Shock Court's Conscience

As a result of evidence that a plaintiff has a physically demanding job and actively enjoys sports, a court can find that a non-economic award of $5,000 for pain and suffering fails to shock the court's conscience.

CV13-6021381S
Young, J.

Practice Areas: Torts , Damages , Motor Vehicles

Fairfield J.D., at Bridgeport

Cortes v. Westport Fish and Poultry Mkt.

Jury Concluded that Driver Was 49 Percent Responsible for Fall

A court can find that a jury's award of both economic and non-economic damages, reduced 49 percent for contributory negligence, fails to shock the court's conscience.

CV12-6034577S
Rush, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Torts , Damages , Personal Injury

New Britain J.D., at New Britain

Muczko v. Suitter

2011 Audi Owner Proved Value Decreased $5,271 Because of Crash

A plaintiff's fair, just and reasonable damages from a motor-vehicle accident can extend beyond the cost of repairs to the loss of the Blue Book value of the motor vehicle as a result of being in a motor-vehicle accident.

CV14-6023596
Shortall, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Personal Property , Transportation

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Dodd v. United Cleaning and Restoration

Plaintiff Not Entitled To Attorney Fees under C.G.S. §42-150bb

Absent allegations in a complaint that plaintiff requests attorney fees pursuant to a contract, a plaintiff may not be entitled to attorney fees pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §42-150bb, which generally allows a consumer who is a successful litigant to obtain attorney fees.

CV14-6049882
Vitale, J.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession , Attorney Fee Recovery , Consumer Protection

Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury

Gilbert v. Dep't of Correction

Officer Alleged He Was Wrongly Discharged Based on 'My Space' Post

A worker can obtain compensatory damages, punitive damages and attorney fees, if he proves that he was disciplined or discharged as a result of his exercise of his right to free speech, in violation of Connecticut General Statutes §31-51q.

CV10-6007512
Brazzel-Massaro, J.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment , Hiring/Firing , Civil Procedure , Pre-trial Procedure

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Vaske v. Vaske

Wife of Goldman Sachs Partner Won $5 Million Lump Sum and $26K/Month

A court can depart upward from the child support guidelines, if the parties earn approximately $13,788 net per week.

FA12-4023580S
Shay, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support

New Haven J.D., at Meriden

Pelrin v. Shemet

Aunt Not Entitled To Support for 19-Year-Old Disabled Niece

The plain language of a statute that allows parents to obtain child support benefits, if they provide care for a disabled child past her 19th birthday, may not extend to a relative who provides similar care for a disabled individual.

FA13-4018057S
Adams, Family Support Magistrate

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support

New London J.D., at Norwich

McCue v. McCue

Husband's Request for All Three Parcels of Real Estate Rejected

A court can find it would not be equitable to award all three parcels of real estate to one party.

FA13-4122212S
Moukawsher, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support

Willimantic (Juvenile Matters)

In Re: Austen

Grandparents' Request for Custody Was Not Filed Timely

A court can find that the paternal grandparents' request for custody was not filed timely.

CP14-016623-A
Dyer, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Cebollero v. Cebollero

Husband Won Reduction in Support from $200 to $0 per Week

A court can find that as a result of shared parenting, the application of the child support guidelines is not equitable, and reduce child support from $200 to $0 per week.

FA10-4048277S
Bozzuto, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Bauer v. Bauer

Alimony Payment Reduced from $10,417 to $2,500 per Month

A court can find that a substantial change in circumstances took place as a result of defendant's loss of employment.

FA08-4041506S
Ficeto, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law

New Britain J.D., at New Britain

State v. Henderson

Owner of Repossession Company Consented To Search of Toyota

An owner of a repossession company can possess actual or apparent authority to consent to a police search of a repossessed motor vehicle.

CR12-0266686
Alander, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

Litchfield J.D., at Litchfield

Miscikowski v. Bascetta d/b/a Bascetta Renovations

$27,237 Awarded for Breach and $6,435 in Fees under CUTPA

A plaintiff who prove defective workmanship and breach of contract can be entitled to damages.

CV14-6011579S
Pickard, J.

Practice Areas: Contracts , Breach , Consumer Protection , Legal Profession , Attorney Fee Recovery

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Oake Ridge Homeowners Ass'n v. Mera

Defendant Proved She Resided in Ecuador at Time of Service

Even if defendant continues to own property in Connecticut, abode service of process may not be effective, if the defendant moved to another country several years prior to the date that process was served.

CV14-6053878S
Rittenband, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Jurisdiction and Service of Process , Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Clasby v. Zimmerman

Homeowners Won $225,000 PJR Against Home Improvement Contractor

Plaintiffs may be entitled to a prejudgment remedy, if probable cause exists that they will prevail on the merits at trial in an amount equal to or greater than the amount requested, considering defenses, counterclaims and set-offs.

CV13-5014181S
Adams, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Contracts , Breach , Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Barr v. Barr

Defendant Won Protective Order for E-Mail Correspondence

A defendant may be entitled to a protective order, if his e-mail correspondence allegedly was hacked by a nonparty, who produced it at a deposition.

FA13-4025428S
Heller, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Discovery

United States District Court

Fetcho v. Hearst Connecticut Post d/b/a Connecticut Post

Long-Time Conn. Post Worker Did Not Prove Age Discrimination

Absent evidence that a younger worker replaced plaintiff, or statements or practices that indicated that defendant sought to remove older workers, a court can find that plaintiff failed to prove an adverse employment action took place in circumstances that led to an inference of discrimination.

3:12cv904
Crawford, J.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment , Hiring/Firing , Discrimination , Age Discrimination

United States District Court

United States v. Chavez

Drug Enforcement Agents Had Probable Cause To Arrest

Probable cause exists when law enforcement possesses " 'reasonably trustworthy information . . . sufficient to warrant a person of reasonable caution in the belief that an offense has been . . . committed,' " pursuant to Ackerson v. City of White Plains, a 2012 decision of the 2nd Circuit.

3:14cr185
Meyer, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Evidence

United States District Court

Bayan v. Sullivan

Iranian Dr.'s Equal Protection Claim Is Not Barred By Res Judicata

Res judicata can preclude a subsequent suit between the same parties, if a prior suit resulted in a judgment on the merits.

3:14cv528
Bolden, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Judgments , Civil Rights , Labor and Employment , Hiring/Firing , Discrimination , Race Discrimination

United States District Court

Bagley v. Yale Univ.

Yale University Asked To Restrict Deposition Of President To 2 Hours

A court can find it would be an abuse of discretion to restrict a deposition to two hours.

3:13cv1890
Haight, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Discovery

Connecticut Appellate Court

Vanghele v. Town of Fairfield

Officer's Disability Pension Was Denied Properly Given Facts

A plain reading of the disability pension provision under the relevant collective bargaining agreement provided that to be eligible for a disability pension, the member's employment must be terminated because of a permanent and total disability.

AC 36211
Pellegrino, J.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment , Labor Law , Collective Bargaining Agreements , Contracts

Connecticut Appellate Court

Greene v. Keating

Court Improperly Decided Motion on Ground Not Raised by Parties

The trial court acted in excess of its authority when it raised and considered, sua sponte, a ground for summary judgment not raised or briefed by the parties and which did not affect the subject-matter jurisdiction of the court.

AC 356351
Mullins, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure

Connecticut Appellate Court

Birkhamshaw v. Socha

1st Impression Issue on Unified Offer of Compromise Interest

Where there are two plaintiffs, and the claim of one wholly is derivative of the other, offer of compromise interest based on the full jury award would achieve the purpose of Connecticut General Statutes §52-192a.

AC 36058
Mullins, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Jurisdiction and Service of Process , Parties , Standing , Evidence , Character Evidence , Expert Witnesses , Scientific Evidence

Connecticut Supreme Court

McDermott v. State

New Trial Using Correct Standard Needed in Tree Felling Death Case

A party is generally entitled to a new trial when, on appeal, a different legal standard is determined to be required, unless it is concluded that, based on the evidence, a new trial would be pointless.

SC 19221
Eveleigh, J.

Practice Areas: Torts

Connecticut Supreme Court

In Re: Cassandra C.

Mature Minor Doctrine Did Not Apply to Runaway Teen with Cancer

Even assuming that adults have the unfettered right to refuse lifesaving medical treatment, the law was clear that a 17-year-old does not have that right but, to the contrary, is presumed to be incompetent to do so, at least in the absence of proof of maturity.

SC 19426
Rogers, C.J.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Constitutional Law

Connecticut Supreme Court

State v. Stovall

Insufficient Evidence of Intent to Sell Drugs in Prohibited Zone

For a conviction under Connecticut General Statutes §21a-278a(b), the state is not required to prove that the defendant knew that the location in which he intended to sell drugs was within 1,500 feet of a public housing project, but that he intended to sell the drugs at a particular location, and that location was within 1,500 feet of a public housing project.

SC 19167
Vertefeuille, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

Connecticut Supreme Court

McConnell v. McConnell

Order for Nonparty Attorney to Appear Was Not Final Judgment

An order requiring nonparty attorneys to appear in court for examination with a client's file was not a final judgment that could be challenged by writ of error; the discovery order, directed at materials required to resolve the issues raised, was inextricably intertwined with the underlying proceeding.

SC 19257
Espinosa, J.

Practice Areas: Appellate Law - Civil , Interlocutory Appeal , Legal Profession

Connecticut Supreme Court

Martorelli v. Dep't of Transp.

Public Convenience and Necessity Clause Construed as Constitutional

Under the "public convenience and necessity clause" of Connecticut General Statutes §13b-103, evidence solely directed at demonstrating that an existing livery service will be disserved by the granting of a new permit was an inadequate basis for denying that permit; C.G.S. §13b-103 should be construed to avoid anticompetitive effects.

SC 19307
Rogers, C.J

Practice Areas: Administrative Law , Constitutional Law , Transportation

Middlesex J.D., at Middletown

Maye v. Maye

Undue Influence by Son Who Promised To Provide Care Alleged

A mother who allegedly bequeathed property to one child, who promised to take care of her if she became ill, when she intended to leave the property to all her children, can possess a cause of action for undue influence.

CV15-6013040
Aurigemma, J.

Practice Areas: Trusts and Estates , Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury

Matasavage v. Duffy

Plaintiff Alleged Neighbors Trespassed To Construct a Wall

At a hearing in damages, a court can award damages for nuisance and trespass against neighbors who allegedly trespassed in order to construct a wall and left debris behind.

CV10-6004008S
Brazzel-Massaro, J.

Practice Areas: Torts , Intentional Torts , Nuisance , Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Ford v. St. Francis Hosp. of Hartford

Jury Reasonably Could Have Found Plaintiff Was Not Credible

A jury can accept some, none or all of the evidence that the parties present at trial, pursuant to State v. Byrd, a 1994 decision of the Connecticut Appellate Court.

CV11-6020512
Elgo, J.

Practice Areas: Torts , Personal Injury

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Elisea v. CVC Stillwater

Brother-In-Law's Bystander Emotional-Distress Count Stricken

Although trial court judges have extended the "closely related" element in a bystander emotional-distress claim beyond parents, siblings and spouses to include grandchildren, grandparents and fiances of victims, the term does not extend to a plaintiff's in-laws.

CV14-6044056S
Nazzaro, J.

Practice Areas: Torts , Emotional Distress

Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury

Doe v. Annulli

13-Year-Old Alleged Sexual Assault by Father of Friend

A criminal conviction for statutory rape along with a victim statement alleging that plaintiff was sexually assaulted, suffered from nightmares and required counseling can be sufficient to find that defendant intentionally assaulted plaintiff.

CV14-6022790S
Brazzel-Massaro, J.

Practice Areas: Torts , Intentional Torts , Assault

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Brown v. Njoku

$35,000 Awarded to Patient Who Alleged Unwanted Sexual Advances

A court can award damages for battery and negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress to a patient who alleges that she was subjected to inappropriate touching.

CV13-6043835S
Wiese, J.

Practice Areas: Torts , Emotional Distress , Intentional Torts , Battery

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Pietersen v. City of Norwalk

City Overassessed $750,000 Property in Norwalk at $946,928

A court can rely on the comparable sales approach to valuation to find that a municipality overassessed a residential property.

CV14-6022745
Adams, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Taxation , Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Dombek v. Statewide Grievance Comm.

Court Vacated Decision That Attorney Violated Rule 1.7(a)

A court can vacate a Statewide Grievance Committee decision that found that an attorney engaged in unethical conduct, in violation of Rules 1.7(a)(1) and (2), if the court finds that the complainant did not hire the respondent attorney to represent him, and that no attorney-client relationship existed.

CV14-6050020S
Robaina, J.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession

Hartford J.D., at Hartford (Land Use Litigation Docket)

Sterling Trails v. Planning & Zoning Comm'n of the Town of Sterling

P&Z's Conditions On Affordable Housing Exceeded Its Authority

A court can modify and remove a planning and zoning commission's financial conditions on a site plan application for affordable housing, if the P&Z exceeds its authority.

CV12-6038940S
Berger, J.

Practice Areas: Land Use and Planning , Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Hartford J.D., at Hartford (Land Use Litigation Docket)

Citizens for Responsible Planning v. Planning & Zoning Comm'n of Ridgefield

Notice About Proposed 'GZ7' Zone Lacked Location And Contours

A planning and zoning commission that fails to provide proper notice of the location of property and the "major contours of the proposed change" may not possess jurisdiction to make zoning changes.

CV13-6049600S
Berger, J.

Practice Areas: Land Use and Planning , Residential and Commercial Real Estate

New London J.D., at New London

Denison v. Waterford Dental Health

Opinion Letter Did Not Indicate Surgeon Practiced General Dentistry

A board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon may not qualify as a "similar healthcare provider" to a general dentist pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §§52-190a and 52-184c(b)(2).

CV15-6023013
Zemetis, J.

Practice Areas: Health Law , Medical Malpractice

New London J.D., at Norwich

O'Donnel v. Johnson

Father of Two To Pay $86 Per Week and $17 Per Week on Arrearage

A court can order an unemployed father to pay retroactive child support in an amount that is sufficient to compensate the mother and that will not break the father.

FA12-4119469
Moukawsher, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support

New Britain J.D., at New Britain

Kemp v. Gallant

Putative Father Was Unable To Defeat Marital Presumption

A putative father of a child who is born to a woman who is married to another man may be required to offer proof, at a preliminary evidentiary hearing, that his interests and the best interests of the minor child are greater than those of the marital family unit, and that he has a relationship with the minor child.

FA14-4036483S
Shah, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Cafazzo v. Cafazzo

Husband Of 22 Years Alleged Fraudulent Failure To Disclose

To establish fraud for purposes of a motion to open a judgment, a party must prove: (1) a false representation made as a statement of fact; (2) the statement was not true; (3) the statement was made to induce reliance; and (4) the other party relied on the statement to his detriment.

FA14-4071413S
Ficeto, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Barr v. Barr

Court Awarded Pendente Lite Support of $30,000 Per Month

A court can award alimony and child support, as well as substantial attorney fees, pendent lite.

FA13-4025428S
Heller, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support

New Britain J.D., at New Britain

State v. Tavares

Anonymous Tipster Described SUV, Driver, Time and Location of Heroin

Phone calls from an anonymous tipster concerning a shipment of heroin can provide a reasonable, articulable suspicion of criminal activity and probable cause to stop and search a motor vehicle, even if the driver has not committed any traffic violations.

CR12-266155
Alander, J.

Practice Areas: Constitutional Law , Evidence , Criminal Law

New London J.D., at Norwich, G.A. 21

State v. Hollander

Expansion Of Criminal Protective Order Would Violate Double Jeopardy

A court may not expand a sentence or criminal protective order, once defendant has started to serve his sentence, without raising due-process and double-jeopardy concerns.

CR12-0119114S
Bates, J.

Practice Areas: Constitutional Law , Criminal Law

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Rodriguez v. Salvation Army Marshall House

Neurosurgeon May Charge $650 Per Hour for Testimony at Deposition

When considering the reasonableness of an expert's fee, a court may consider: (1) the expert's area of expertise; (2) the expert's education and training; (3) prevailing rates of comparable experts; (4) the nature, quality and complexity of discovery; (5) the fee actually charged; (6) fees that the expert traditionally charges; and (7) any other factor likely to assist the court.

CV12-6033638S
Epstein, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Discovery

New London J.D., at New London

Bayview Loan Serv. v. Christie

Defendant Moved Away Before Marshall Attempted To Serve Process

A court may not possess personal jurisdiction over a defendant who moved away from the premises two years before the marshal attempted to effectuate abode service of process.

CV14-6021713S
Cosgrove, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Jurisdiction and Service of Process , Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

AW Power Holdings v. Firstlight Waterbury Holdings

Apparent First Impression on Parent Co.'s Fiduciary Duty

A fiduciary duty can exist between a parent company that is in control of the managing member of a limited liability company and the minority members of the LLC.

CV14-6047836S
Peck, J.

Practice Areas: Business Entities , Dissolution , LLCs and LLPS , Legal Profession , Attorney Fee Recovery , Contracts , Breach

United States District Court

Haddock v. Nationwide Life Ins.

$49 M in Attorney Fees Awarded in Class Action Against Nationwide

A court can award reasonable attorney fees and expenses to lead attorneys in a class action.

3:01cv1552
Underhill, J.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession , Attorney Fee Recovery

United States District Court

St. Ange v. ASML

New Trial Ordered Because Court Issued Incorrect Instruction

A court that allegedly issues an incorrect instruction to the jury can order a re-trial.

3:10cv79
Eginton, J.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment , Hiring/Firing , Civil Procedure , Trial

United States District Court

Francis v. Hathaway

Genuine Issue on Cops' Use of Force Against Unarmed Suspect

A factfinder can find that excessive use of force was used if defendants' use of force was objectively unreasonable under the circumstances and the unlawfulness of the use of force would have been clear to a reasonable police officer.

3:11cv1344
Shea, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Rights , Constitutional Law

United States District Court

Adams v. City of New Haven

Plaintiff Alleged That Cops Entered Incorrect Apartment

A municipal training course may not be inadequate, merely because a few graduates depart from what they were taught.

3:14cv778
Meyer, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Rights , Constitutional Law

United States District Court

Whitnum v. Town of Greenwich

Pro Se Lacked Good Cause To File Late Claim for Jury Trial

A court can extend a deadline in which to file a request for a jury trial only for good cause, and mere inadvertence is insufficient.

3:11cv1402
Underhill, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Pre-trial Procedure , Constitutional Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

Izikson v. Protein Science Corp.

Insurer's Filing Form 43 Was Not a Substitute for Notice of Claim

To satisfy the notice of claim requirement in Connecticut General Statutes §31-294c(a), an employee must affirmatively provide some form of written notice that informs the employer of an actual intent to pursue a workers' compensation claim, and an insurer's preemptive filing of a form 43 to contest a claim, was not recognized as an additional exception to the notice of claim requirement.

AC 36325
Keller, J.

Practice Areas: Social Services Law , Workers’ Compensation

Connecticut Appellate Court

Abendroth v. Moffo

Under Workers' Compensation Act Payloader Was Not a Motor Vehicle

Connecticut General Statutes §31-293a is clear that the Workers' Compensation Act is the exclusive remedy for an employee's injury or death caused by the negligence of a fellow employee, unless the fellow employee negligently operated a motor vehicle as defined by C.G.S. §14-1 and, pursuant to C.G.S. §14-1(53) and C.G.S. §14-165(9), a payloader is not a motor vehicle.

AC 36547
DiPentima, C.J.

Practice Areas: Social Services Law , Workers’ Compensation

Connecticut Appellate Court

Madigan v. Hous. Auth. of the Town of East Hartford

Jury Properly Found No Just Cause To Fire Housing Authority Director

It is a matter for the trier of fact to determine whether the defendant had just cause to terminate the plaintiff's employment.

AC 35682
Alvord, J.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment

Connecticut Appellate Court

Eaddy v. City of Bridgeport

Officer Was Regarded as Having Wrong Temperament, Not Disability

For an individual to prove that she was the object of discrimination because of a perceived mental disability, it first must be shown that she was perceived to have a recognized mental disorder.

AC 36046
Beach, J.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment

Connecticut Appellate Court

Perry v. Perry

Dissolution Judgment Ordered Sale of Home, Not Transfer to a Party

Where the dissolution judgment called for the "sale" of the marital residence and ordered the parties to "list the premises for sale," a postdissolution order transferring exclusive possession of the marital home from the plaintiff to the defendant and ordering the defendant to pay the plaintiff the value of her equitable interest in the home would have constituted an impermissible modification of the dissolution judgment.

AC 36673
Keller, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

Customers Bank v. Tomonto Indus.

Admission of Debt Summary Upheld Given Lack Of Document Request

An exhibit summarizing debt was properly admitted based on the language of Connecticut Code of Evidence §10-5, when the defendants received the exhibit before the hearing and could have made a preliminary demand to review the underlying documents but failed to do so.

AC 36240
Lavine, J.

Practice Areas: Evidence , Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights

Connecticut Appellate Court

State v. LaFleur

New Sentence Was Not Vindictive, Remand Order Was Rightly Followed

A remand order is to be interpreted in light of the reviewing court's opinion and strictly followed.

AC 35418
Keller, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

State v. Kirby

Evidence Teacher Possessed Child Pornography Knowingly Sufficed

Sufficient evidence supported a finding that the defendant high school teacher knowingly possessed visual depictions of child pornography found on his computer when the jury reasonably could have inferred from testimony that he copied the photographs from a teen's cell phone and knew they were on his computer because he rotated them and altered one.

AC 34862
Beach, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Constitutional Law , Evidence

Connecticut Appellate Court

State v. Bush

Self-Representation Right Found Denied In Effect and CORA Defined

The denial of the defendant's request for a continuance to review the state's voluminous disclosure effectively undermined the court's earlier ruling granting the defendant's unequivocal request to represent himself, forcing him to accept representation by his attorney, instead of proceeding uninformed and unprepared, and the resulting violation of his self-representation right constituted structural error.

AC 34886
Sheldon, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Constitutional Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

O'Rourke v. Comm'r of Motor Vehicles

1st Impression Issue: Alcohol Test Refusal Could Not Be Rescinded

An operator's later consent to chemical alcohol testing did not invalidate a previous refusal to be tested.

AC 36714
Keller, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

Llera v. Comm'r of Correction

Ineffective Counsel Claims Were Properly Rejected

Personal knowledge of information and detailed descriptions of alleged criminal activity in a challenged tip are strong indicia of the tip's reliability for the purpose of establishing probable cause based upon it.

AC 35807
Foti, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

Connecticut Supreme Court

Nation-Bailey v. Bailey

Support Obligation Permanently Ceased Upon Cohabitation as Agreed

A separation agreement requiring the payment of unallocated alimony and child support "until the death of either party, the [w]ife's remarriage or cohabitation as defined by [Connecticut General Statutes] §46b-86(b)," terminated the support obligation permanently upon the wife's cohabitation and did not afford the trial court discretion to suspend the obligation for a four-month cohabitation period.

SC 19245
Robinson, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Contracts

Connecticut Supreme Court

Old Colony Constr. v. Town of Southington

1st Impression Issue Construing Termination for Convenience Clause

When a contract expressly preserves remedies following termination, such a reservation must be given full effect absent evidence of a more limited intent.

SC 19346
McDonald, J.

Practice Areas: Contracts , Remedies

Connecticut Supreme Court

Dieudonne v. Comm'r of Correction

Certification Was Improvidently Granted in Appeal of Habeas Writ

Certification to appeal was improvidently granted on whether the Appellate Court, in upholding the trial court's grant of a habeas petition, properly applied the standards set forth in the 1984 U.S. Supreme Court case of Strickland v. Washington with regard to burden of proof and weighing of the evidence.

SC 19140
Per Curiam

Practice Areas: Appellate Law - Criminal

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

City of New Haven and Connecticut Alliance of City Police

Cop Allegedly Fired Pistol on New Haven City Street on April Fool's

A city can possess just cause to discharge an officer who allegedly fires five rounds at a congested location where someone could have been injured and killed.

2014-A-0304
Cronan, Diaz and Duby

Practice Areas: Administrative Law , Alternative Dispute Resolution , Arbitration (ADR) , Labor and Employment , Labor Law , Collective Bargaining Agreements

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

City of Meriden and AFSCME, Council 4, Local 3886

Substitute Crossing Guards Argued That Past Practice Existed

Arbitrators can find that evidence of a past practice may only be considered if the language in the collective bargaining contract is ambiguous.

2013-A-0580
Gnocchi and Massa – Neary dissented

Practice Areas: Administrative Law , Alternative Dispute Resolution , Arbitration (ADR) , Labor and Employment , Labor Law , Collective Bargaining Agreements , Wages and Hours

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

City of Bridgeport and NAGE, Local RI-200

Custodian I Who Supervised Worker Entitled To Additional Pay

A custodian who supervises another worker can be entitled to additional pay, as a result of performing higher-level work that is out of his job classification.

2012-A-0151
Halperin and Toomey – O'Connell dissented

Practice Areas: Administrative Law , Alternative Dispute Resolution , Arbitration (ADR) , Labor and Employment , Labor Law , Collective Bargaining Agreements , Wages and Hours

Fairfield J.D., at Bridgeport

Rogers v. Lee

Plaintiff Won $75,000 for Collision With Tractor-Trailer

A court can award economic damages for medical expenses and non-economic damages for pain and suffering to a driver who allegedly was injured in a motor-vehicle accident with a tractor-trailer that carried a large number of motor vehicles.

CV12-6029748S
Rush, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Torts , Personal Injury , Motor Vehicles , Transportation

New London J.D., at New London

Minta v. Manca; Yuchniuk v. Manca

Motorists Injured in Wrong Way Collision Awarded $283,722

A court can award economic damages for medical expenses and loss of wages and non-economic damages, for medical expenses, to individuals injured by a driver who allegedly collided with them head-on.

CV14-6020258S and CV13-6019252S
Zemetis, J.

Practice Areas: Torts , Personal Injury , Motor Vehicles

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Millworks v. City of Stamford; Garufi v. City of Stamford

Stamford's Maintenance of Drainage System Was Discretionary

A court can find that maintenance of a stormwater drainage system involves discretionary conduct.

CV09-5013039 and CV09-5013040
Adams, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Torts , Intentional Torts , Nuisance , Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury

Estate of Marshall v. Naugatuck Hous. Auth.

$800K Verdict That Shocked Court's Conscience Was Reduced To $60,000

A court can order a remittitur of a jury verdict that is excessive and that shocks the court's conscience.

CV11-6011642S
Shapiro, J.

Practice Areas: Torts , Damages , Personal Injury , Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Dickman v. Kowalski

Plaintiff Alleged Co-Workers Wrongly Obtained Access To E-Mail

Allegations that co-workers who were investigating a whistleblower complaint on behalf of an employer wrongfully obtained access to plaintiff's e-mails may be insufficient to allege a violation of plaintiff's privacy rights.

CV14-6050274
Elgo, J.

Practice Areas: Internet Law , Privacy , Labor and Employment , Whistle-blower Law , Torts

Willimantic (Juvenile Matters)

In the Interest of: Juliana

Court Threatened Mother With Removal of Four Minor Kids

If parents are unable to cooperate and act civilly, a court can commit minor children who previously were adjudicated as neglected to the custody of the Department of Children and Families.

W10-CP14-016619A
Foley, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support

Ansonia/Milford J.D., at Milford

Morrissey v. Kampf

Plaintiff Alleged Defendant Used False Driver's License To Play Ball

Even if defendant used a false driver's license to establish residency and was not eligible to play on a municipal softball team, that did not affect the rule that proof of negligence was insufficient to create liability.

CV13-6013597S
Stevens, J.

Practice Areas: Entertainment and Sports Law , Torts , Personal Injury

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

People's United Bank v. Wright

Bank Failed To Prove It Sent Notice via Certified Mail

Absent evidence that notice was sent to defendants via certified mail, as required by Connecticut General Statutes §8-265ee(a), a court can dismiss a foreclosure action.

CV10-6004126S
Mottolese, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights , Civil Procedure , Jurisdiction and Service of Process

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Roy v. McInerney

Plaintiffs Made Unenforceable Promise To Make Gift in Future

A promise to make a gift in the future may not result in an enforceable contract.

CV14-6049411S
Vacchelli, J.

Practice Areas: Contracts , Breach , Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Miller v. N. Stamford Congregational Church

Apparent 1st Impression on Objection To Taped Deposition

If the defendant complies with P.B. §13-27(f)(2) and requests a taped deposition, the plaintiff may not possess the right to object to a taped deposition, based solely on the medium.

CV14-6022496S
Tierney, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Discovery

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Hernandez v. Dep't of Transp.

DOT Objected To Plaintiff's Request for Bill of Costs

Connecticut General Statutes §52-556 does not waive the state's sovereign immunity in connection with a prevailing party's request for taxable costs.

CV11-6021534S
Huddleston, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Judgments , Torts , Motor Vehicles

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Cintron v. J&E Investment

Expert on Economic Loss Entitled To Fees of $500 Per Hour

A party that deposes an expert can be required to pay a reasonable expert's fee, pursuant to Practice Book §13-4(c)(2).

CV13-6040666S
Scholl, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Discovery , Evidence , Expert Witnesses

New London J.D., at New London

Cabral v. JMA Trucking

Defense Attorney Went 'Beyond Fair Cross-Examination'

Cross-examination that oppresses the witness, that is unreasonably annoying or embarrassing or that unreasonably wastes time is cross-examination that is not fair.

CV10-6006342S
Cole-Chu, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Discovery , Evidence , Expert Witnesses

United States District Court

Edible Arrangements v. Provide Commerce

Edible Arrangements Adequately Alleged AntiCybersquatting Claim

Allegations that defendant, whether through or with other parties, acquired the use of and profited from typosquatting domains can be sufficient to allege a violation of 15 United States Code §1125(d) of the AntiCybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.

3:14cv250
Bryant, J.

United States District Court

Broadcast Music v. The Hub at Cobb's Mill

Vicarious Liability Established for Performance of Copyrighted Music

An individual can be legally responsible for copyright infringement, even if he himself does not perform the protected composition, pursuant to Gershwin Publ'g v. Columbia Artists Mgmt., a 1971 decision of the 2nd Circuit.

3:13cv1237
Bryant, J.

Practice Areas: Intellectual Property , Copyrights , Infringement (Copyright) , Education Law

United States District Court

Mehta v. Ace Am. Ins.

Estate Failed To Prove That Decedent Was 'Occupying' Car

A policy that defines "occupying" to include an individual who is "in, upon, entering into, or exiting from a motor vehicle" may not cover an individual who allegedly was struck when crossing the street.

3:10cv1617
Chatigny, J.

Practice Areas: Insurance Law , Automotive , Policy Terms

United States District Court

United States v. Scott

Separate Trials Are Not Required To Avoid Prejudice

To prevail on a motion to conduct separate trials, a defendant must establish "substantial prejudice," pursuant to United States v. Sampson, a 2004 decision of the 2nd Circuit.

3:14cr81
FitzSimmons, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Evidence

United States District Court

United States v. Huertas

Defendant Argued He Was Illegally Seized When Cop Questioned Him

A person is only seized for purposes of the Fourth Amendment if, in view of the circumstances, a reasonable individual would believe he was not free to leave.

3:14cr141
Arterton, J.

Practice Areas: Constitutional Law , Criminal Law , Evidence

Connecticut Appellate Court

O, R & L Commercial v. Colt Gateway

Summary Judgment Was Improper Given Disputed Listing Terms

Summary judgment is inappropriate when the language of a contract as to the parties' intent is ambiguous and, here, because a listing agreement was susceptible to different reasonable interpretations, summary judgment was improper.

AC 36635
Lavine, J.

Practice Areas: Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Connecticut Appellate Court

Barbour v. Barbour

Order To Pay College Expenses Improperly Included Travel Costs

The scope of necessary educational expenses awardable under Connecticut General Statutes §46b-56c does not include the restaurant meals, lodging and transportation incurred in relocating a child to an out-of-state college.

AC 36241
Alvord, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

Ruiz v. Comm'r of Correction

Error in Finding No Prejudice for Claimed Confrontation Violation

Because the right to confrontation is not absolute, and the violation of that right is subject to harmless error analysis, it stands to reason that, in the context of a habeas proceeding for ineffective assistance of counsel, prejudice is not presumed when that ineffective assistance results in a violation of the right to confrontation.

AC 36175
Sheldon, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Constitutional Law , Evidence

Connecticut Appellate Court

Mitchell v. Comm'r of Correction

No Prejudice From Lack of Video Tape Expert at Trial

For a claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel in failing to obtain expert evidence, insofar as an evaluation of prejudice essentially asks whether the alleged deficient performance likely affected the outcome of trial, the strength of the state's case must be considered to determine what effect the lack of an expert evaluation can be said to have had.

AC 36120
Keller, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Evidence

Connecticut Appellate Court

North Star Contracting v. Albright

Conflict of Interest Defeated Standing for Derivative Action

The plaintiff lacked standing to bring this shareholder derivative action where an inherent conflict of interest existed from its maintenance of a direct action where both suits arose out of the same alleged conduct and it failed to demonstrate that it can be a fair and adequate representative.

AC 36275
Lavine, J.

Practice Areas: Business Entities

Connecticut Supreme Court

Wargo v. Comm'r of Correction

Certification in Habeas Appeal Was Found Improvidently Granted

Certification to appeal was improvidently granted on the issue of whether the Appellate Court properly affirmed the habeas court's judgment, rejecting the petitioner's claim that he was entitled to a writ of habeas corpus for his conviction of murder and arson, because the attorney in his criminal case was burdened by a conflict of interest from his representation of the petitioner on a contingency fee basis on his claim against his insurance company, seeking payment for the losses sustained in the same fire that formed the basis of the arson charge.

SC 19231
Per Curiam