The following summaries are intended to provide quick summaries of some aspects of recent CT legal developments on accident and insurance issues.  Most of these matters were not handled by Jackson O'Keefe, LLP.  The summaries are provided as a news summary only.  The summaries are not comprehensive, and readers are referred to the primary sources for full details.  These summaries are not legal advice.  You should consult with an attorney with regard to your situation.

Category: Municipal Law

MUNICIPAL LAW – Supreme Court holds that triable issue of material fact exists as to whether city fire department’s persistent and continuing failure to conduct statutorily-mandated inspections of public housing constituted reckless disregard for residents’ health and safety:

1/10/2018 | Kathryn M. Cunningham

Four residents of a public housing complex in Bridgeport died in a fire and the plaintiff administrator of the decedents’ estates sued the city and others, claiming that the fire resulted directly from the fire department’s past and continuing failures to regularly inspect fire detection equipment and fi ...

MUNICIPAL LAW – Superior Court holds that neither mere receipt of benefits nor representations of lower-level officials are sufficient to establish municipality contractual liability:

1/10/2018 | Philip R. Dunn, Jr.

The plaintiff alleged that it had performed some work related to a Hartford sports stadium before the city formally cut ties with the plaintiff.  The plaintiff then filed suit related to the hiring of a stadium manager.  It acknowledged that the city’s counsel never signed a lawful contract with the ...

MUNICIPAL LAW – Superior Court holds school board and employees immune from child’s playground injury:

1/10/2018 | Peter K. O'Keefe

The plaintiff was injured when she fell off of a tunnel that she was climbing on at her elementary school’s playground.  She sued the town board of education and other school employees, alleging that the school employees were negligent in failing to supervise the students during recess. In granting the de ...

MUNICIPAL LAW – Appellate Court holds that maintenance of storm drains is a discretionary function:

9/19/2017 | Peter K. O'Keefe

In a case involving flood damage to a home, the Superior Court granted summary judgment in favor of the municipality.  The allegation had been that municipal employees were negligent in failing to provide adequate street drainage.  It was claimed that there was a ministerial duty to maintain storm drains.& ...

MUNICIPAL LAW: Superior Court holds that claims arising from allegedly negligent inspections barred by three-year statute of limitations:

7/10/2017 | Peter K. O'Keefe

Wethersfield law firm ...

MUNICIPAL LAW: District Court dismisses claims arising out of alleged improper video surveillance by police:

7/5/2017 | Matthew J. O'Keefe

MUNICIPAL LAW: District Court dismisses claims arising out of alleged improper video surveillance by police: The plaintiffs alleged that the police department engaged in prolonged and pervasive video surveillance of their residence, recording intimate details connected with their home and f ...

MUNICIPAL LAW – Superior Court holds that municipality qualifies as “owner” under recreational use statute

1/24/2017 | Kathryn M. Cunningham

Granting the defendant town’s motion for summary judgment, the court concludes that a municipality qualifies as an “owner” of land for the purposes of General Statutes §52-557g, the recreational use statute.  The plaintiff was allegedly walking her dogs in an open area on town property wh ...

MUNICIPAL LAW: Superior Court finds in favor of municipality in defective highway action

10/31/2016 | Philip R. Dunn, Jr.

In a court trial, the Superior Court finds that a municipality that hired a contractor to perform road maintenance did not have actual or constructive notice of a defect allegedly created by that contractor.  It was alleged that the contractor had spread black sand across the roadway and that this constituted a ...

MUNICIPAL LAW: Superior Court holds town entitled to immunity for allegedly defective basketball court

10/31/2016 | Philip R. Dunn, Jr.

The court strikes a negligence count and a public nuisance count that arose out of an allegedly defective basketball court in the Town of Branford.  The court holds that as to the negligence count, the defendant town was entitled to governmental immunity since the duties involved were discretionary in nature.&n ...

MUNICIPAL LAW: Superior Court holds governmental immunity bars claim of high school student voluntarily participating in event:

10/31/2016 | Kathryn M. Cunningham

The plaintiff was voluntarily participating in a scavenger hunt.  The plaintiff alleged that the Board of Education breached its ministerial duties by failing to prevent the students from participating in the activity.  Granting the Board’s motion to strike, the court holds that it acted in a discret ...

MUNICIPAL LAW: Superior Court grants in part and denies in part motion to strike claims against municipal defendants arising out of bullying

7/28/2016 | Kathryn M. Cunningham

 The plaintiff alleged that during eighth grade, she was repeatedly subjected to verbal bullying, physical bullying, and harassment through electronic means. She alleged that school officials were aware of the bullying but did nothing to prevent it.  On the defendant’s motion to stri ...

MUNICIPAL LAW: Appellate Court affirms summary judgment based upon governmental immunity for police dispatcher:

6/1/2016 | Peter K. O'Keefe

The plaintiff’s aunt called the police department, not 911, to report that eight teenage boys were bullying her daughter.  She requested that police come to her residence.  The dispatcher told the aunt that an officer would come by shortly.  The dispatcher entered the complaint into the computer ...

INJURY LAW – Jackson O’Keefe obtains summary judgment on behalf of municipality with regard to fall at transfer station

5/18/2016 | Kathryn M. Cunningham

The plaintiff alleged that she was injured while attempting to access a dumpster for cardboard at the Town of Salisbury transfer station.  She claimed that she was caused to fall due to a defective lip covered with ice and debris.  The plaintiff alleged that the area where she fell qualified as a “de ...

MUNICIPAL LAW – Superior Court holds that governmental immunity bars high school student claim regarding picnic

5/5/2016 | Kathryn M. Cunningham

The plaintiff alleged an injury at a high school class picnic at a YMCA facility.  While playing a basketball game, the plaintiff was allegedly injured when he was accidentally poked in the eye.  The plaintiff alleged negligent supervision of the basketball game.  The defendants claimed that they were ...

MUNICIPAL LAW - In court trial, Superior Court awards 11-year-old $40,814.00 as a result of accident in school auditorium

2016-03-11 | Kathryn M. Cunningham

The 11-year-old student was accidentally cut on his face with a pair of safety scissors.  The evidence was that the child would have a permanent scar.  The court found that the child was an identifiable victim and was subjected to imminent harm, for which the City and Board of Education were legally respon ...

MUNICIPAL LAW - District Court grants municipality's motion for summary judgment as to selective enforcement equal protection claim brought by sports bar:

2016-03-11 | Matthew J. O'Keefe

The plaintiff sports bar initially obtained approval from the fire marshal for an occupancy level of 1,200 persons.  Thereafter, there were numerous complaints to the police about incidents at the bar and the police began to place a van and K-9 unit near the front entrance.  The fire marshal subsequently r ...

West Hartford Jackson O'Keefe partner Kathryn M. Cunningham obtains favorable jury verdict in personal injury action

2012-05-30 | Peter K. O'Keefe

On May 15, 2012 Attorney Cunningham obtained a favorable jury verdict at the Hartford Superior Court.  The jury deliberated for approximately 50 minutes prior to returning its verdict for Attorney Cunningham’s client.  The case arose out of a falldown that occurred on August 15, 2006 at approximately ...

CT Municipal Law: Allegedly Principal Failed to Report Assault to Police

2012-08-14 | Joseph M. Busher

CT Municipal Law: Allegedly Principal Failed to Report Assault to Police CASE:  Gorman v. Town of New Milford COURT:  Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury DOC. No.:  CV08-5004455S DATE:  May 16, 2012-PAGES: 11   Connecticut General Statutes §10-233g pro ...

Connecticut Municipal Law -- Defective Highway Claim Precludes Apportionment Of Liability

2013-07-12 | Kathryn M. Cunningham

The Connecticut Appellate Court holds that a defendant in a motor vehicle accident claim cannot file an apportionment complaint against a municipal defendant alleging liability based upon an allegedly defective roadway.  It was undisputed that the roadway in question was a municipal road, maintained by the town ...

Connecticut Municipal Law -- Court Holds That Plaintiff Didn't Provide Adequate Description Of Locus

2013-07-12 | Peter K. O'Keefe

The Connecticut Superior Court holds that an allegation that a plaintiff was injured as a result of a “defective condition” on a “walkway and/or bridge” at a 54-acre park was insufficient under the facts of the case before it to comply with the statutory notice requirements for defective side ...

Connectiuct Appellate Court Affirms Jury Finding That Storm Drain Is Not A Highway Defect

2013-09-10 | Joseph M. Busher

The Appellate Court concludes that the jury was not clearly erroneous in finding that a storm drain, while located in an area expected to be used by travelers, did not necessarily obstruct or hinder the use of the road.  The evidence showed that the drain was more than three feet from the paved portion of the r ...

Appellate Court holds that defective highway claim against BOE employee barred

2014-02-07 | Peter K. O'Keefe

MUNICIPAL LAW – The Appellate Court holds that a claim against a board of education employee is barred as a matter of law since the defective highway statute provides the exclusive remedy for a claim such as the one asserted against the employee:  The plaintiff, a police officer, alleged that he su ...

CONNECTICUT MUNICIPAL LAW – Teachers held not negligent for field day injury after court trial

2014-09-16 | Kathryn M. Cunningham

The trial court concludes that the P.E. and homeroom teachers of a fourth grader hurt during a field day activity were not negligent.  The minor plaintiff was injured during a “big clothes” relay race, when another student tugged on the clothes causing the minor plaintiff to fall to the hardwood flo ...

CONNECTICUT MUNICIPAL LAW – Appellate Court holds swim coach immune from negligence claims for swim team after-school activity:

2014-09-16 | Peter K. O'Keefe

During a warm-up drill after school one team member dove into a pool, landing on the minor plaintiff.  The Appellate Court holds that the claim is barred by governmental immunity, and that no exception applied because participation in the extra-curricular activity was voluntary.  Jahn v. Board of Education ...

CONNECTICUT MUNICIPAL LAW – Principal and BOE immune from negligence regarding student fight:

2014-09-16 | Philip R. Dunn

The Superior Court holds that the defendants are immune because the plaintiff does not qualify as an identifiable victim.  The plaintiff had been threatened previously by the fellow student but did not tell anyone about that.  Additionally, although the school knew of a prior incident in which the student ...

MUNICIPAL LAW – Superior Court holds teacher not responsible for kindergartner’s accident

2014-11-03 | Kathryn M. Cunningham

  After a trial to the court, the court holds that a kindergarten teacher either was not negligent or enjoyed qualified immunity with regard to an accident that occurred during recess.  The evidence was that the child had been pushed by another student twice during recess, and that after the second time, w ...

Connecticut Municipal Law – Appellate Court affirms summary judgment holding that OSHA creates no duty to non-employees

2015-03-12 | Joseph M. Busher

The plaintiff fell into a dumpster at a transfer station, and commenced suit alleging that the Town was negligent under OSHA in failing to have protective barriers to prevent such falls.  Affirming summary judgment for the Town, the Appellate Court reaffirms that OSHA regulations apply only to employees as defi ...

MUNICIPAL LAW – Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirms summary judgment obtained for Planning Commission on equal protection claim arising out of subdivision denial

2015-05-11 | Joseph M. Busher

The Supreme Court recognized the “class of one” equal protection claim in Vill. of Willowbrook v. Olech, 528 U.S. 562, 564 (2000).  Olech held that “where the plaintiff did not allege membership in a class or group,” he may nonetheless seek equal protection if he has been “intentio ...

MUNICIPAL LAW – Maintenance of drainage system held discretionary

2015-05-11 | Kathryn M. Cunningham

The Superior Court grants the City’s motion for summary judgment as to negligence.  The claims for property damage by 15 businesses arose out of 2005 flooding allegedly due to the City’s failure to maintain and clear clogs from its drainage system.  The Court finds that the maintenance of the d ...

MUNICIPAL LAW – U.S. District Court for E.D. of Pennsylvania dismisses 42 U.S.C. § 1983 arising out of high school football concussions

2015-07-13 | Kathryn M. Cunningham

The plaintiff was a member of the JV football team when he blacked out during a game after a hit.  After complaining of head and hand pain, he was allegedly put back in the game without being examined, and was involved in another collision, knocking him unconscious.  Thereafter he allegedly experienced diz ...

CONNECTICUT MUNICIPAL LAW – Superior Court holds that police officer had no duty to search a person taken into protective custody for hallucinations

2015-07-13 | Joseph M. Busher

A police officer took the tortfeasor into protective custody and delivered him to a hospital for treatment, after determining that he was having auditory hallucinations.  Approximately 38 hours later, the tortfeasor shot an attendant at the hospital, who later brought suit against the police officer.  The ...

CONNECTICUT MUNICIPAL LAW / CONSTRUCTION LAW -- New statute of limitations for municipal and state projects

2015-07-29 | Kathryn M. Cunningham

Public Act 15-28 goes into effect on October 1, 2017, and establishes a 10 year statute of limitations running from the date of substantial completion for municipal and state construction projects.  The Act statues in part: “[N]o action or claim, whether in contract, in tort, or otherwise, to recover dama ...

MUNICIPAL LAW – Attorney Kathryn Cunningham of Jackson O’Keefe obtains summary judgment on behalf of Regional School District

2015-07-29 | Kathryn M. Cunningham

MUNICIPAL LAW – Attorney Kathryn Cunningham of Jackson O’Keefe obtains summary judgment on behalf of Regional School District:  The plaintiff claimed that she was on the grounds of a high school, walking on a sidewalk between a fence surrounding the school’s athletic track and bleachers overlo ...

MUNICIPAL LAW -- $770,000 verdict in a defective sidewalk fall down:

2015-07-29 | Philip R. Dunn

A 68-year-old dental hygienist on her lunch break tripped and fell when her foot got caught on an edge where there was a 1.5 inch gap between the brick paver surface and the edge of the sidewalk’s concrete slab. She sustained a badly fractured right wrist and incurred approximately $95,000 in medical damages. ...

CT MUNICIPAL LAW – Superior Court finds that defective highway statute is the sole remedy for accident allegedly caused by “stop sticks” placed in roadway

2015-10-05 | Kathryn M. Cunningham

The plaintiffs were passengers in a vehicle being pursued by the police.  The police placed stop sticks in the roadway to force the vehicle to stop or slow.  The passengers then brought a suit against the City of Hartford, alleging negligence and recklessness.  The municipal defendants moved to strike ...

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