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Appellate Court Notes: Week of November 17

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 November 17, 2014

  • SC19118 - E & M Custom Homes, LLC v. Negron

New home warranty claim was successfully asserted as a counterclaim to a mechanic lien foreclosure. You will have to read the Appellate Court decision to find out what happened as the Supreme Court felt they should not have taken the appeal and left the Appellate Court decision in favor of the defendant in place.

Unless a municipality follows the procedures of 7-163a passed in 1981, an ordinance that merely imposes fines upon homeowners for not clearing the snow or ice off the adjacent public sidewalk, does not transfer liability from the city to the homeowner for accidents that occur on the sidewalk under such conditions.  Thus the plaintiff here could not sue the homeowner.

  • AC35435 - Vitali v. Southern New England Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Group, LLP

The trial court has broad discretion to allow expert testimony beyond the face description contained in the PB disclosure or what is contained in the expert’s deposition testimony.  Here broad statements in the med mal defendant’s expert disclosure that their expert would testify “how the standard of care was not breached," “how the surgery was performed," and other broad statements, covered a range of topics that opened the door to wide ranging questioning by defendant’s counsel about the expert’s opinions at the time of trial.

The denial of a Motion to Dismiss for failure of the plaintiff to file a proper med mal good faith certificate per 52-190a is not an appealable final judgment.  Only Motions to Dismiss based upon an established right not to litigate satisfy the second prong of the Curcio decision, so as to be appealable.  These include denials of Motions to Dismiss based upon sovereign immunity, collateral estoppel, ……

 

The facts and holdings of any case may be redacted, paraphrased or condensed for ease of reading.  No summary can be an exact rendering of any decision, however, so interested readers are referred to the full decisions.  The docket number of each case is a hyperlink to the Connecticut Judicial Department online slip opinion.  Copyright 2014 Pullman & Comley, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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