December 9, 2013
Welcome to our Supreme and Appellate Court summaries webpage. On this page, I provide abbreviated summaries of decisions from the Connecticut appellate courts which highlight important issues and developments in Connecticut law, and provide practical practice pointers to litigants. I have been summarizing these court decisions internally for our firm for more than 10 years, and providing relevant highlights to my municipal and insurance practice clients for almost as long. It was suggested that a wider audience might appreciate brief summaries of recent rulings that condense often long and confusing decisions down to their basic elements. These summaries are limited to the civil litigation decisions based on my own particular field of practice, so you will not find distillations of the many criminal and matrimonial law decisions on this page. I may from time to time add commentary, and may even criticize a decision’s reasoning. Such commentary is solely my opinion . . . and when mistakes of trial counsel are highlighted because they triggered a particular outcome, I will try to be mindful of the adage . . . “There but for the grace of God . . ..” I hope the reader finds these summaries helpful. – Edward P. McCreery
Posted December 9, 2013
When a Board of Education hired a moving company, the employees strung a cable across the road to winch an item onto a truck and the plaintiff promptly drove into the cable, sustaining injuries. One count asserted that some of the defendants were Board of Education employees and acted negligently. This count was properly dismissed for the failure of the plaintiff to comply with and assert his claim in accordance with the defective highway statute. While boards of education can at times be totally distinct animals from the municipalities in which they are located, for this type of claim, an employee of the board of education is still an employee of the town itself and so the plaintiff is really suing the town over a defective condition on the roadway and the statute had to be complied with.
AC34773 - Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. v. Perez
Husband intended to mortgage his home to lender for $1.5mm to pay for son’s medical bills, but when lender later went to foreclose, it found they had forgotten to read the title search that showed the wife (step-mom to the son) owned an undivided half interest in the property before the mortgage was granted. So the lender added a count for reformation to its foreclosure action to add the wife to the mortgage deed and foreclose her interest as well. The lender claimed the husband intended to mortgage to them a full interest in the property and they would not have done the deal had they known they would only be getting a ½ interest in property. The trial court granted reformation and the Appellate Court reversed holding that there was no showing that the wife had signed the application for the loan, or mistakenly failed to sign the mortgage, nor that everyone, including her, anticipated that she would be a party to the transaction. [I think they improperly added…it wasn’t even her son.] Absent clear and convincing evidence that the wife was intended to be on the deed, reformation to add her was improper.