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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the trial court insofar as it rendered judgment in Defendant's favor on counts alleging fraudulent transfer under the Connecticut Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (CUFTA), Conn. Gen. Stat. 52-552a through 52-552l, and unjust enrichment, holding that the trial court erred in rejecting Plaintiff's CUFTA claim but did not err in rejecting Plaintiff's unjust enrichment claim. Defendant Stephen McGee used a power of attorney granted to him by his elderly mother, Helen McGee, to transfer to himself funds from Helen's checking account. As a consequence of the transfers, Helen had insufficient assets to pay her debt to Plaintiff Geriatrics, Inc. Plaintiff brought this action, and the trial court rendered judgment in Defendant's favor on Plaintiff's CUFTA and unjust enrichment claims. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) in rejecting the CUFTA claim the trial court improperly failed to consider and apply agency principles; and (2) in light of the unrequited evidence, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in rejecting Plaintiff's unjust enrichment claim. View "Geriatrics, Inc. v. McGee" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed in part the judgment of the trial court against Defendants in this public nuisance suit, holding that Defendants' contractual undertaking with the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) did not create a duty to Plaintiffs. Project Service, LLC, the named defendant, and the DOT, which owned a service plaza, had entered into a concession agreement which imposed the responsibility on Project Service to operate and maintain the service plaza. Project Service contracted the day-to-day operation of the service plaza to one defendant, which subcontracted certain operations to another defendant. Plaintiffs alleged that Defendants created a public nuisance by permitting the tortfeasor to consume alcohol and loiter on the service plaza premises before driving his Jeep onto a roadway where he killed and injured the victims. Plaintiffs also alleged that Defendants breached a duty to passing motorists to protect them from the increased risk of harm created by Defendants' failure to perform their contractual obligations. The trial court rendered summary judgment on the nuisance claims, and the jury returned a verdict in Plaintiffs' favor on Plaintiffs' negligence claims. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) Defendants' agreement did not create a duty to Plaintiffs; and (2) Plaintiffs' public nuisance claims failed as a matter of law. View "Demond v. Project Service, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the trial court denying Defendant's motion for remittitur after a jury awarded $1.2 million in noneconomic damages to Plaintiff, as the administratrix of the decedent's estate, and $4.5 million to Plaintiff for her loss of spousal consortium, holding that a loss of consortium award ordinarily should not substantially exceed the corresponding wrongful death award to the directly injured spouse. After the jury returned its verdict, Defendant filed a motion seeking a remittitur of the loss of consortium award. The trial court denied the motion and rendered judgment in accordance with the jury verdict. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) absent exceptional or unusual circumstances, a presumption applies that a direct injury to one spouse is no less harmful than the concomitant loss of consortium suffered by the deprived spouse; and (2) the disproportionate loss of consortium award in this case was not justified. View "Ashmore v. Hartford Hospital" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court in favor of Defendants and upholding the legality of assessments of Plaintiffs' properties following a revaluation - which was a mass appraisal - conducted by the Town of Groton as a direct equalization measure in order to ensure that Plaintiffs' neighborhood was not undertaxed relative to others in the municipality, holding that the trial court properly determined that Plaintiffs' assessments were not manifestly excessive. Plaintiffs argued that Defendants violated Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-62 and numerous regulations promulgated by the state Office of Policy and Management when they applied a flat, undifferentiated adjustment factor that increased the assessed value of all properties in Groton Long Point by a certain percentage without individualized consideration of the unique characteristics of each property. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Defendants validly incorporated ratio studies and direct equalization via adjustment factors to neighborhood strata into the revaluation in order to ensure that Groton Long Point bore its fair share of the Town's municipal tax burden relative to the Town's other neighborhoods. View "Tuohy v. Town of Groton" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the appellate court vacating the trial court's order denying David Salinas's motion for a protective order seeking to prohibit the Town of Redding from taking his deposition, holding that there was no appealable final judgment. Redding Life Care, LLC initiated an action against the Town to challenge the assessed value of real property it owned. The Town served Salinas, who had completed two appraisals of that property, with a subpoena compelling him to appear at a deposition. Salinas filed a motion for a protective order seeking to prohibit the Town from taking his deposition, arguing that he could not be compelled to testify as an expert because Connecticut law prohibited the compulsion of such unretained expert testimony. The trial court denied Salinas' motion. Salinas then filed a writ of error. The appellate court granted the writ. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the trial court's order denying Salinas' motion for a protective order was an interlocutory ruling that normally is not appealable; and (2) the order satisfied neither the first or second prong of State v. Curcio, 463 A.2d 566 (Conn. 1983), and thus did not constitute an appealable final judgment. View "Redding Life Care, LLC v. Town of Redding" on Justia Law

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In certified appeal arising from a consolidated zoning appeal and enforcement action relating to a manufacturing facility the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Appellate Court reversing the judgment of the superior court denying proposed intervenors' motions to intervene and remanding the case for further proceedings, holding that the trial court erred in denying the motions to intervene as untimely. Since 1997, the manufacturing facility at issue had been subject to a stipulated judgment imposing various restrictions on its operation. In 2015, the trial court opened and modified the 1997 stipulated judgment by agreement of the parties. The public, however, had been informed that the parties' joint motion to open and modify the judgment would not be heard until one week later. Two proposed intervenors sought to intervene, alleging environmental harm. The trial court denied the motions to intervene as untimely. The Appellate Court reversed, concluding that the trial court's expedited consideration of the motion to open and modify the stipulated judgment violated the proposed intervenors' right to timely, accurate notice and their statutory right to intervene and to participate in the hearing on the stipulated judgment. The Supreme Court affirmed, adopting the Appellate Court's opinion as a proper statement of the issues and applicable law concerning those issues. View "Griswold v. Camputaro" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the trial court determining that the prosecutor did not abuse her discretion in a manner clearly contrary to manifest public interest when she entered a nolle prosequi on the basis that the State's material witness had become disabled for purposes of Conn. Gen. Stat. 54-56b, holding that, given the prosecutor's representations, the trial court properly deferred to the prosecutor's exercise of her discretion and allowed the nolle to enter. On appeal, Defendant argued that the prosecutor's basis for entering the nolle, i.e., that the State's key witness was "disabled" because her fear prevented her from being able to testify, was insufficient as a matter of law to establish that the witness was disabled for purposes of Conn. Gen. Stat. 54-56b. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding (1) the prosecutor represented to the court that the witness was disabled to her compromised mental state and that her statements demonstrated that compromised mental state; and (2) the trial court did not make a finding that the witness was or was not disabled but, rather, properly grounded its ruling on its finding that, in entering the nolle, the prosecutor had not abused her discretion in a manner clearly contrary to manifest public interest. View "State v. Owen" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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In this case concerning the proper recipient of heart and hypertension benefits under Conn. Gen. Stat. 7-433c for permanent disability if such benefits vested and were payable during the claimant's lifetime but were not paid to the claimant before his death the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Compensation Review Board concluding that the executrix of the decedent's estate was improperly was substituted as party claimant, holding that heart and hypertension benefits under § 7-433c may be paid to a claimant’s estate if such unpaid benefits matured before the claimant’s death. The Workers' Compensation Commissioner granted the motion to substitute the executrix as a party claimant. The Board concluded that the executrix was improperly substituted as party claimant because a claimant's estate cannot receive the claimant's vested but unpaid section 7-433c benefits. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding (1) neither Morgan v. East Haven, 546 A.2d 243 (Conn. 1988), nor any other legal authority barred the substitution to the extent that the executrix sought payment of matured benefits; but (2) because the record did not support the determination that the decedent's section 7-433c disability benefits matured before his death, this case must be remanded for further proceedings to decide the proper beneficiary of any benefits due. View "Brennan v. Waterbury" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that inmates charged in criminal cases, some of whose telephone calls and noncontact visits have been recorded and reviewed by the Department of Corrections, are not entitled, under Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 87 (1963), to a review of all calls and visits even though the Department has limited its review to only some of the recorded conversations. While the Department automatically records all calls and visits of all inmates, when a Department, acting as an investigative arm of the State, reviews some of those calls and visits as part of the investigation into an inmate's particular criminal case, the calls and visits reviewed are subject to Brady's disclosure requirements. Defendant issued a subpoena to the Department seeking the production of more than 1500 audio recordings of calls and visits of Defendant's four codefendants. The trial court granted in part the motions to quashed filed by the State and the Department, concluding that Defendant must first make a showing that the recordings contained exculpatory information. The Appellate Court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because the recordings at issue were not part of the investigation of the State's case against Defendant, Defendant was not entitled to review the recorded conversations. View "State v. McCoy" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court reversed in part the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming Defendant's conviction of one count of murder, holding that the trial court should have dismissed rather than denied Defendant's motion for a new trial. After the jury returned its verdict but prior to the sentencing date, Defendant filed a motion for a new trial. The sentencing hearing went forward, and the court sentenced Defendant. Defendant subsequently sought to have his motion for a new trial heard. The trial court denied the motion without a hearing on the ground that it had lost jurisdiction. The Appellate Court affirmed, holding that the motion was correctly denied because the trial court lost jurisdiction once Defendant's sentence was executed. The Supreme Court reversed in part and remanded with direction to dismiss Defendant's motion for a new trial, holding (1) given that the trial court lacked jurisdiction over Defendant's motion for a new trial, the court should have dismissed Defendant's motion; and (2) the trial court's failure to rule on Defendant's motion for a new trial prior to sentencing did not constitute plain error. View "State v. Guerrera" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law