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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the trial court vacating an arbitration award setting the amount of an insured loss caused by a tree falling on the insured home. After her property suffered a casualty loss, Plaintiff filed a claim under the policy insuring her property. The parties’ adjusters were unable to agree on the amount of the loss, and Plaintiff invoked the policy’s appraisal provision., which provided that the award was not conditioned on judicial review. After the appraisal panel issued its arbitration award Plaintiff filed an application with the superior court seeking to vacate the award. The trial court granted the application to vacate on the grounds that it violated Conn. Gen. Stat. 52-418. The Supreme Court held that the trial court improperly vacated the arbitration award because the arbitrators did not violate section 52-418. View "Kellogg v. Middlesex Mutual Assurance Co." on Justia Law

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Vaccinations are not “medical treatment” within the meaning of Conn. Gen. Stat. 17a-10(c), and therefore, the statute does not authorize the Commissioner of Children and Families to vaccinate a child temporarily placed in her custody over the objection of that child’s parents. The children’s parents in this case entered pleas of nolo contendere as to neglect allegations and agreed to commit their two children temporarily to the care and custody of the Commissioner. The parents, however, objected to vaccination of the children for common childhood diseases in accordance with the Department of Children and Families’ usual practice. The trial court granted the Commissioner permission to vaccinate the children, concluding that the Commissioner had the authority and obligation to vaccinate the children pursuant to section 17a-10c. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the statute does not authorize the Commissioner to vacate children committed to her temporary custody without parental consent. View "In re Elianah T.-T." on Justia Law

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Defendant Justin Skipwith was charged with manslaughter in the second degree with a motor vehicle after he struck and killed Brianna Washington, the daughter of the plaintiff in error, Tabatha Cornell. Although Cornell notified the defendant in error, the state’s attorney for the judicial district of Waterbury, that she was invoking her constitutional rights as a victim of the crime, she was not afforded an opportunity to object to the plea agreement between Skipwith and the State or to make a statement at Skipwith’s sentencing hearing. Cornell filed a motion to vacate the sentence. The trial court dismissed the motion for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Cornell then filed a writ of error arguing that the trial court erred in dismissing her motion to vacate Skipwith’s sentence. The appellate court dismissed the writ of error, concluding that the trial court did not err. The Supreme Court affirmed on other grounds, holding that the writ of error sought a form of relief that was barred by the victim’s rights amendment. View "State v. Skipwith" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court answered questions of law certified to it by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit by holding (1) Connecticut public policy supports imposing a duty on a school to warn about or protect against the risk of a serious insect-borne disease when it organizes a trip abroad; and (2) a damages award of approximately $41.5 million, $31.5 million of which are noneconomic damages, does not warrant a remittitur. In this case, Plaintiff, a fifteen-year-old private school student, sustained permanent brain damage after contracting tick-borne encephalitis during an educational trip to China. The jury returned a verdict in Plaintiff’s favor. The school appealed, and, finding insufficient guidance existing in Connecticut law to answer Defendant’s challenges to the verdict, certified the above questions of law to the Connecticut Supreme Court. View "Munn v. Hotchkiss School" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the Appellate Court dismissing Mother’s appeal from the judgment of the trial court terminating Mother’s parental rights as to her son and remanded the case with direction to affirm the trial court’s judgment. On appeal, Mother argued (1) the Appellate Court erred in concluding that Mother had failed adequately to brief one of the two independent grounds for reversing the trial court judgment, and that therefore her appeal was moot; and (2) the trial court incorrectly determined that the Department of Children and Families made reasonable efforts to reunify her with her son and that she was unable to benefit from those efforts. The Supreme Court held (1) the Appellate Court erred in dismissing Mother’s appeal as moot; but (2) the evidence supported the trial court’s determination that Respondent was unable to benefit from reunification efforts, and the resolution of this issue constitutes an independent basis for affirming the trial court’s judgment. View "In re Elijah C." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court dissolving the marriage of Plaintiff and Defendant. On appeal, Plaintiff challenged several financial orders entered by the trial court. In affirming, the Supreme Court held that the trial court did not err in (1) determining that Plaintiff did not contribute to the value of a trust created by Defendant’s father in 1983; (2) declining to find Defendant in contempt; (3) failing to consider the value of a trust created in 2011 as a marital asset; and (4) structuring the award of attorney’s fees in the dissolution action. View "Powell-Ferri v. Ferri" on Justia Law

Posted in: Trusts & Estates

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Plaintiffs, the trustees of a trust created by Paul John Ferri, Sr. solely for the benefit of his son, Paul John Ferri, Jr. (Ferri), sought a judgment declaring that they were authorized to decant certain assets from the trust and that Nancy Powell-Ferri, Ferri’s former wife, had no right, title, or interest in those assets. The trial court concluded that Plaintiffs were not allowed to decant the trust because Ferri had a vested irrevocable interest in its assets. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) under Massachusetts trust law, Plaintiffs had authority to decant assets from the trust; (2) the trial court erred in granting attorney’s fees to Powell-Ferri; and (3) the trial court did not err in the remaining issues challenged on appeal. View "Ferri v. Powell-Ferri" on Justia Law

Posted in: Trusts & Estates

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In this case, municipal immunity was not abrogated either by the proprietary function exception of Conn. Gen. Stat. 52-557n or by the identifiable person, imminent harm exception. Plaintiff appealed from a judgment rendered in favor of the Town of Plainfield after the trial court concluded that no exception to the Town’s general immunity applied. At issue before the Supreme Court was whether there was municipal immunity when the Town charged a nominal fee to a private group for reserved use of the public pool and where Plaintiff, a member of the group, slipped and fell on accumulated water in the vicinity of that pool. The trial court concluded that the Town was immune from liability because (1) the Town’s operation of a municipal pool wa sa governmental function and did not create a profit for the Town; and (2) Plaintiff was not an identifiable person and that the water on and around the pool surfaces did not qualify as an imminent harm. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Town’s operation of its municipal pool did not constitute a proprietary function so as to abrogate its discretionary act immunity; and (2) because Plaintiff was not an identifiable person, the identifiable person, imminent harm exception did not apply. View "St. Pierre v. Plainfield" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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In this criminal case, the trial court acted within its discretion in admitting uncharged sexual misconduct that occurred twelve years prior to the charged conduct. After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of sexual assault in the first degree and two counts of risk of injury to a child. The appellate court affirmed the judgment of conviction. On appeal, Defendant argued that the uncharged sexual misconduct evidence was too remote and insufficiently similar to the charged offenses, and therefore, the trial court abused its discretion in admitting it. Defendant relied on State v. De Jesus, 953 A.2d 45 (Conn. 2008) to make his argument. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the twelve year old uncharged sexual misconduct evidence because it satisfied the requirements of DeJesus. View "State v. Acosta" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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A party’s delay in raising a challenge to the trial court’s subject matter jurisdiction is an improper ground on which to deny a motion for judgment of dismissal insofar as the motion challenged subject matter jurisdiction. The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the trial court in favor of Plaintiff in this negligence action. The trial court entered judgment after denying Defendant’s motion for judgment of dismissal raising a lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The Supreme Court held that the trial court’s stated rationale of delay and laches for denying the motion for judgment of dismissal was not a proper basis for denial. Rather, the trial court should have first resolved whether Defendant’s motion raised a colorable jurisdictional issue and, if so, whether it had jurisdiction over the cause of action. The court remanded the case for further proceedings. View "Machado v. Taylor" on Justia Law