Practice/Industry Group Overview
Our litigation practice is among the largest and most highly regarded in the Northeast. More than 70 years of courtroom success have cemented our reputation as leaders in trial and appellate advocacy. For our clients – who range from multi-national corporations to locally-owned businesses and individuals – the size and diversity of our litigation practice means a legal team matched to your needs and goals. In every case we handle, no matter how complex, the client remains the focus. You always know the attorney responsible for your case, you are consulted at every turn, and you are always kept fully informed.
Three components drive our success: trial experience, attention to detail and attention to cost. We are highly experienced in all phases of civil litigation and appeals in state and federal courts, as well as in alternative dispute resolution and hearings before government agencies. Our experience not only enhances our courtroom proficiency, it also enables us to work more efficiently. We are committed to ongoing and timely communication with our clients. That communication is enhanced by our policy of assigning a coordinating attorney to every case, who monitors all proceedings and serves as liaison to the client.
The scope of our litigation practice is broad and extends to business and commercial cases, civil rights, employment, insurance coverage and defense, products liability and toxic torts, professional liability, torts and general litigation. We represent clients in courts and adjudicatory forums throughout the United States and internationally. Whatever type of litigation you face, our attorneys have the experience and focus to pursue zealously the outcome you aim for.
H & S Obtains Summary Judgment in Commercial General Liability Matter
In the matter of Nautilus Ins. Co. v. Leyman Watson, et al., Halloran & Sage successfully obtained summary judgment in favor of the firm's client, Nautilus Insurance Company ("Nautilus") in a declaratory judgment action involving a commercial general liability policy ("the Policy") issued to its insureds, Luongo Construction & Development LLC ("Luongo Construction").
By way of background, Nautilus insured the defendant, Luongo Construction, under a commercial general liability policy ("the Policy"). Luongo Construction's managing member, Michael Luongo ("Luongo"), was also an insured under the Policy. Leyman Watson ("Watson") commenced an action against Nautilus's insured, Luongo Construction, amongst others, for personal injuries sustained as a result of a fall down a set of stairs that were allegedly constructed and/or repaired by Luongo Construction. The owners of the premises where the stairs were located, Tracy Rappa ("Rappa") and Joanne Sardo ("Sardo"), commenced a third party complaint against Luongo Construction and Luongo asserting a breach of contract and common law indemnification stemming from the construction or repairs to the outside deck or stairs on which Watson sustained personal injury.
Nautilus commenced a declaratory judgment action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut seeking a declaration that it did not have a duty to defend or indemnify Luongo Construction as to the third party claims being made by Sardo, Rappa and Watson. Nautilus argued that Rappa and Sardo's third party complaint being asserted against its insured did not allege property damage or bodily injury caused by an "occurrence" as the term was defined by the Policy. Secondly, Nautilus also sought a declaration that the policy provided coverage for Luongo Construction, not Wallingford Construction Company LLC (a predecessor company started by Luongo) and, therefore, any conduct by Michael Luongo in regard to any business transactions with Sardo and Rappa was only with respect to the business dealings with Wallingford Construction LLC, not Luongo Construction. Nautilus also sought a declaration that any liability claims were excluded by the professional services construction management exclusion. Finally, Nautilus sought a declaration that the liability claims were excluded under an endorsement which excluded bodily injury or property damage arising out of "your work" that commenced prior to the inception date of the policy.
Nautilus moved for summary judgment on the basis that the claims being made by Sardo and Rappa, for breach of contract and common law indemnification, did not constitute an "occurrence" under the Policy, that the stairs were not built by the named insured (because Luongo was not acting in furtherance of the business of Luongo Construction), and that the subject stairs were built prior to the inception of the policy. During discovery Nautilus established that the stairs were not built by Luongo Construction nor Luongo's former company, Wallingford Construction. The Court (Underhill, J.) sided with Nautilus and granted the summary judgment in favor of Nautilus Ins. Co. on the basis that there is no issue of material fact that the stairs were built prior to the inception of the policy. Therefore, in granting summary judgment, the court ruled that Nautilus did not have a duty to defend and/or indemnify Michael Luongo and/or Luongo Construction & Development LLC in the underlying lawsuit brought by Leyman Watson. Nautilus Ins. Co. was represented by Steven Ryan, Susan Kirkeby and Meg Reid.
Representation of an Urban Renewal Project
Represented a client in a failed multi-million dollar urban renewal project where the plaintiff claimed breach of contract, misrepresentation and violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA).
Representation of a Federally Chartered Bank
Represented a federally chartered bank for claims of negligence and violation of contract where we impleaded a third party for bank fraud.
Representation of a Major Creditor
Represented a major creditor against claims the company's officers and directors failed to oversee the conduct of the corporation and protect its assets for the benefit of creditors.
Representation in a Corporate Governance Case
Represented claimants in a corporate governance case - similar to the Enron and WorldCom cases - involving claims that corporate management dissipated assets...
Representation of a Major Public Utility
Represented a major public utility against claims of unfair trade competition (Lanham Act & CUTPA) resulting in a summary judgment in the client's favor in federal court
Representation of a Healthcare Insurance Company
Represented a major health care insurance company for claims of unfair trade practices and breach of contract resulting in the plaintiff paying our client over $500,000 on our counterclaim
Representation of a Major Financial Services Company
Represented a major financial service company against claims of insurance and bank fraud resulting in a settlement for less than seven percent of its alleged value after a summary trial.
Representation of a Clothing Manufacturer
Represented a clothing manufacturer in a claim of theft of business opportunity, trade secrets and breach of contract resulting in the federal court granting an injunction preventing the client's competitors from taking advantage of its trade secrets.
Representation of a Minority Shareholder
Represented a minority shareholder in a closely held family business resulting in client being able to purchase the business for a price substantially less than its market value.
Representation of a Computer Software Manufacturer
Represented a computer software manufacturer in a case involving breach of contract, negligent and intentional misrepresentation in the inducement and unfair trade competition in a case tried in Missouri, which settled after three weeks of trial for less than two percent of the alleged value.
Obtained one of the largest sanctions awarded in the United States against an opposing individual attorney in a fraud case.
H & S Secures Notable Sanction Award
During litigation of claims of insurance and bank fraud, Joseph Fortner secured what at the time was one of the largest sanctions awards against an individual attorney. The award for over $750,000 was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Represented an international sporting goods company in international arbitration relating to its relationship with a foreign supplier.
Joseph “Jay” Arcata Obtains Defense Verdict on Behalf of Local Manufacturer
Following a two week trial, a Hartford jury returned a defendant’s verdict in a premises liability action brought by a commercial cleaning contractor who claimed to have slipped and fallen on pooled water in a men’s restroom. Attorney Joseph Arcata, III represented the defendant, a local manufacturer of heating elements. During trial, the plaintiff presented evidence of more than $500,000 in past economic damages and future medical care. Her demand to settle never dropped below $750,000.
Thomas Boyce Successfully Defends Vascular Surgeon Against Medical Malpractice Claim
Thomas Boyce Jr. recently successfully defended a vascular surgeon against a medical malpractice claim.
The plaintiff alleged that the defendant surgeon negligently managed a vascular injury sustained during an orthopedic procedure. After a three week trial in Waterbury and two days of deliberations, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant.
Daniel Krisch Wins Divorce Appeal
Daniel Krisch successfully defended a post-judgment modification of alimony on appeal to the Appellate Court on behalf of the plaintiff in Whitehead v. Pite, 135 Conn. App. 819, cert. denied, ___ Conn. ___ (2012). The trial court had granted the plaintiff’s motion to extend her alimony beyond the time set in the original divorce judgment based on a substantial change in her circumstances. On appeal, the Appellate Court agreed with Daniel that prior Supreme Court precedent did not preclude the trial court’s decision and that the trial court correctly found that the plaintiff was entitled to the alimony modification.
Daniel regularly represents parties in divorce appeals and advises trial counsel about appellate issued during divorce litigation.
Appellate Court Affirms Trial Court’s Decision in Professional Liability Case
Thomas Boyce Jr. argued the case Weaver, et. al. v Mc Knight 134 C.A. 652 ( 2012 ) in Appellate Court.
In response to a Motion to Preclude the trial court precluded the opinion testimony of two of the plaintiff’s experts and then entered a Directed Verdict .
The plaintiff appealed to the Appellate Court.
The Appellate Court decision affirmed the decision of the trial court.
Hannah Gray Home. Inc. v. City of New Haven, 2012 WL 1662621 (2012)
This matter arose from a tax assessment appeal. The Plaintiff moved for summary judgment on the basis that the City failed to properly grant the Plaintiff a tax exemption under Connecticut General Statutes § 12-81(75). On behalf of the City, I successfully argued that as a matter of law not all Health Care Institutions are exempt from taxation but rather only specific institutions were allowed at the time Connecticut General Statutes § 12-81(75) was adopted.
H & S Obtains Three Defendant’s Verdicts in Minor Impact Soft Tissue Case
Halloran & Sage attorneys Kevin Greene and Susan Kirkeby recently obtained three defendant’s verdicts in a civil trial in New Haven Superior Court. The verdicts were on behalf of a motorist who was involved in an accident with a transmit bus. The motorist was sued by several of the transit bus passengers.
Appellate Court Affirms Trial Court's Decision in Professional Liability Matter
Jennifer Mullen obtained a Summary Judgment on behalf of an Orthopedic surgeon and his practice group in a medical malpractice action arising from alleged complications following surgery for a total knee replacement procedure.
The plaintiff appealed the Judgment to the Appellate Court.
The Appellate Court recently issued it's decision affirming the decision of the trial court.
Hodgate, Admr. v. Ferraro, et al. 123 Conn. App. 443 (2010)
In Hodgate, Admr. v. Ferraro, et al. 123 Conn. App. 443 (2010), Paul Meade successfully defended a wrongful death action against a fellow employee of the plaintiff's decendent sued for negligent operation of a motor vehicle in Connecticut. Paul establised and argued that, because the employment relationship was centered in Massachusetts rather than Connecticut, Connecticut's motor vehicle exception to workers' compensation immunity did not apply and the defendant was immune from liability by virtue of the Massachusetts workers' compensation act.
Morales v. City of Bridgeport, 5551 CRB-4-10-5 (April 18, 2011)
Grady Successfully Defends Orthopedic Surgeon in a Medical Malpractice Case
Timothy Grady, successfully defended a Connecticut orthopedic surgeon in a medical malpractice case. The sixty-two year-old plaintiff alleged that the surgeon was negligent in the performance of a "trigger finger" release procedure, which resulted in physical pain, scarring, as well as mental and emotional suffering.
After trial at the Middletown Superior Court, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant after less than an hour of deliberation.
Laura Laydon v. Woodbridge Plan and Zoning Commission, et al, 2011 WL 6004469 (2011)
This matter arose out of the Plaintiff’s appeal of the Defendants’ approval of a subdivision application of Co-Defendants, Mr. and Mrs. Soufrine. The Plaintiff argued that the Defendants’ failure to require the discontinuance of a driveway between the subdivision and the neighboring property owned by the Plaintiff, was illegal arbitrary and an abuse of the Defendants’ discretion. In representing the Town, H & S was successfully able to have the appeal dismissed on the grounds that the Defendant Town has no authority over land which was not part of the subdivision application and as such, could not require the discontinuance of a driveway.
Grady Successfully Defends Connecticut Anesthesiologist in Jury Trial
Timothy Grady, successfully defended a Connecticut anesthesiologist in a medical malpractice case. The twenty-five-year-old plaintiff alleged that the doctor failed to properly monitor the position of an esophageal monitoring probe during laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery. During the portion of the procedure when the surgeon was creating the plaintiff's new stomach pouch, the probe was transected and stapled to the plaintiff's stomach wall. The doctor's contention was that the plaintiff's anesthesia had been induced and the plaintiff was intubated under her direct care as required by professional and hospital guidelines. At the time of the surgical complication, the plaintiff was stable and therefore, appropriately being monitored by a certified nurse anesthetist.
After four weeks of trial at the Hartford Superior Court, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant after one and a half hours of deliberation.
Summary Judgment Obtained in National Fraternity Case
In a matter of first impression in the State of Connecticut, Halloran & Sage attorney Paul Meade recently obtained a summary judgment in a case in which a national fraternity was accused of negligence and recklessness for its inability to control underage drinking at a chapter's fraternity house. The plaintiffs alleged that their son was illegally served alcohol at the fraternity house, left the party in an intoxicated state and was struck and killed by a motor vehicle while crossing the street. The plaintiffs alleged that the fraternity failed to properly supervise its local chapter to prevent underage drinking and that members of the local fraternity were officers, employees or agents of the national fraternity. The fraternity responded that it did not possess a property interest in the house where the party took place, it did not know about or authorize underage drinking, and it did not control the chapter's day-to-day activities. The court, in its summary judgment decision, concluded that the national fraternity did not have a duty to control the conduct of the local chapter and to prevent underage drinking.
Woodbridge v. Eden Weiss, et al, 2010 WL 2821966 (2010)
This matter arose out of the issuance of a cease and desist order by the Town of Woodbridge against the Defendants. After a full trial, H & S was able to successfully enforce the cease and desist order on behalf of the Town and further obtain a judgment for civil penalties against the Defendants.
Derrane v. City of Hartford, 295 Conn. 35 (2010)
Smith v. City of Waterbury, 5326 CRB-5-08-3 (February 4, 2009)
Robert Rhodes Obtains Favorable Judgment For Town of New Milford
Robert Rhodes recently obtained a favorable judgment in favor of the town of New Milford. A Hartford district court judge dismissed a lawsuit filed against New Milford by a resident who claimed that actions of the town and its zoning officials had violated his constitutional right to due process under the law and initially sought $125 million in damages.
The court decided that the substantive due process claim was unsupported by the facts, and the court entered judgment in favor of the town and its employees on that claim, and then dismissed the remaining state court claims for lack of federal jurisdiction.
Thomas O'Dea Successfully Defends a Legal Malpractice Matter
Thomas O'Dea recently successfully defended a CT attorney in a legal malpractice case in which the plaintiff's demand never came below $450,000. Eric Bernheim sat second chair in this matter. After three weeks of trial, a jury returned a Defendant's verdict on all counts. The plaintiff claimed that her former attorney did not prepare her underlying motor vehicle negligence case by failing to properly disclose medical and economic experts.
Blades v. Redman & Turnquist, 5163 CRB-2-06-11 (February 26, 2008)
Defense Verdict in Police Negligence Case
James Szerejko recently obtained a defendant's verdict in Hartford Superior Court. Plaintiff alleged that a Hartford police officer was negligent when the officer shot a mentally disturbed, knife wielding man, and should have done a better job diffusing the situation when police were called to the scene of a domestic dispute. Another back -up officer was also named as a defendant and it was claimed that officer should have intervened to avoid the shooting. In addition, it was further alleged, that the police officers did not follow department regulations concerning the handling of mentally disturbed individuals. The jury found that the police officers were not negligent. The individual shot recovered from his wounds.
Defense Verdict Obtained in Psychiatric Malpractice Case
Richard Tynan recently obtained a defense verdict in a psychiatric malpractice case. In the case the plaintiff alleged that his psychiatrist failed to properly assess him for suicidality at a point in time when his anti-depressant medication was being switched. In addition, he alleged that the psychiatrist was "unavailable" to him by reason of her vacation at the critical juncture. Plaintiff attempted suicide by overdose. The case was tried in Bridgeport Superior Court. The verdict was awarded in June 2007.
Defense Verdict in Malpractice Claim
Richard Tynan recently obtained a defense verdict in a primary care physician death claim case. In the case the plaintiff alleged that his primary care physician breached the standard of care by prescribing Naprosyn while the plaintiff's decedent was also taking Coumadin. The defendant contended the standard of care did not require the plaintiff to check his INR prior to starting him on a short course of Naprosyn. The plaintiff descendant's INR had been stable for an extensive period of time and was therapeutic one week prior to death. The case was tried in Hartford Superior Court. The verdict was awarded in November 2006.
Directed Verdict for Defense Obtained in Pediatrician Malpractice Case
Attorney Richard Tynan recently obtained a directed verdict for a defendant in a claim involving the death of a two-month old prematurely born infant. The plaintiff alleged that the pediatrician failed to perform an adequate assessment of the infant's pulmonary status after the infant's arrival in Connecticut. (The infant was born in Georgia.) The case was tried in the Hartford Superior Court. The verdict was awarded in August 2006.
Defense Verdict Obtained in Allegation of Breach of Standard of Care
Richard Tynan obtained a defense verdict in a case in which the plaintiff alleged a breach of standard of care and unlawful imprisonment. The plaintiff alleged that a psychiatrist improperly filled out a physician's emergency certificate, which resulted in the plaintiff's involuntary hospitalization. The case was tried in Middlesex Superior Court. The verdict was awarded in April 2002.
Judgment in Favor of Ophthalmologist in Laser Surgery Case
After several days of evidence and after hearing from various expert witnesses, the judge ruled in favor of the ophthalmologist in a laser surgery case. Allegations involved failure to obtain informed consent to proceed with laser surgery for treatment of diabetic retinopathy. This case was tried in the New Britain Superior Court. The verdict was awarded in December 2001.
Defense Verdict Obtained in Plaintiff's Allegation of Improper Chiropractor Care
Richard Tynan obtained a defense verdict in a case in which the plaintiff alleged a covering chiropractor improperly treated her lower back, and injured it, when the patient had consented to therapy. The therapy had already been begun by another chiropractor and centered around the cervical spine and TMJ. This case was tried in Middlesex Superior Court. The verdict was awarded in October 2001.
Defense Verdict Obtained in Plaintiff's Allegation of Primary Care Physician's Improper Diagnosis
Richard Tynan obtained a defense verdict in a case in which the plaintiff alleged that a covering primary care physician failed to properly diagnose a myocardial infarction which was subsequently diagnosed by the plaintiff's primary care physician several days later. This case was tried in New Britain Superior Court. The verdict was awarded in February 2000.
Defense Verdict Obtained in Emergency Tracheotomy Case
Richard Tynan obtained a defense verdict in a case in which the plaintiff alleged that an ENT failed to properly secure an appliance inserted during an emergency tracheotomy, thus causing the decedent to die. The case was tried in Middlesex Superior Court. The verdict was awarded in December 2004.
Defense Verdict Obtained in Allegation of a Damaged Nerve
Richard Tynan obtained a defense verdict in a matter in which the plaintiff alleged that her surgeon damaged her phrenic nerve in the process of performing a thoracotomy to explore for the presence of a cancerous mass. The case was tried in Hartford Superior Court. The verdict was awarded in May 2004.
Defense Verdict Obtained in Erb's Palsy Matter
Richard Tynan obtained a defense verdict in a matter in which the plaintiff claimed an injury to the brachial plexus (Erb's Palsy) allegedly caused by the Ob-Gyn's failure to manage a shoulder dystocia delivery. The case was tried in New Britain Superior Court. The verdict was awarded in May 2004.
Defense Verdict Obtained in Plantiff's Allegation of Improper Diagnosis
Richard Tynan obtained a defense verdict in a matter in which the plaintiff alleged failure of his ENT to properly diagnose a cancerous lesion in the oral cavity. Plaintiff subsequently was diagnosed with a squamous cell cancer and thereafter followed up with radiation therapy only, resulting in a condition of permanent dry mouth. The case was tried in Middlesex Superior Court. The verdict was awarded in August 2003.
Defense Verdict Obtained in Endochrinologist Matter
Richard Tynan obtained a defense verdict in a case in which the plaintiff alleged that his endochrinologist failed to properly manage his diabetes, failed to appreciate signs and symptoms of early cardiac disease and failed to counsel him on his cardiac risk. The plaintiff had a massive heart attack that resulted in total disability. The case was tried in Middlesex Superior Court. The verdict was awarded in May 2004.
Defense Verdict Obtained in Radiologist Standard of Care Case
Attorney Richard Tynan recently obtained a defense verdict in a Hartford Superior Court case. The plaintiff had a screen mammography whereupon her radiologist recommended further studying. That further study was carried out with additional views, with the advice to the plaintiff that she return for follow-up in four months. Plaintiff did not return for follow-up. She was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer ten months later and alleged a deviation from the standard of care and failure to properly interpret the mammogram, failure to evaluate with ultrasound, and failure to clearly advise the plaintiff of her need for follow-up. The verdict was awarded in July 2006.
Defense Verdict Obtained in Ob-Gyn Allegation of Excessive Traction
Richard Tynan obtained a defense verdict in a case in which the plaintiff alleged injury to the femoral nerve as a result of excessive traction during an emergency hysterectomy. She claimed total paralysis and disability. The case was tried in New Britain Superior Court. The verdict was awarded in 2005.
Defense Verdict Obtained in Radiologist Standard of Care Case
Attorney Richard Tynan recently obtained a defense verdict when a plaintiff's conservator claimed that the defendant radiologist deviated from the standard of care in interpreting a CT scan which, she alleged, demonstrated signs of stroke. She further alleged that had the CT scan been properly interpreted, the ward would have been admitted to the hospital and started on Heparin or another anti-coagulant, thus preventing the massive injury which followed. At the time of trial, plaintiff was totally bed-ridden and dependent on nursing home staff for all activities of daily living and assistance with all bodily functions. The case was tried in the Hartford Superior Court.
Latex Foam Intern. Holdings, Inc. v. Richard N. Goldman & Co., 2007 WL 447916 (Conn. Super. Ct. January 26, 2007)(Langenbach, J.)
The Superior Court, Complex Litigation Docket, granted summary judgment on all claims against the defendant, an insurance brokerage company which had provided a limited inspection service for the purpose of determining whether the insured, a large latex foam mattress manufacturer, could lower its property insurance premiums by upgrading the building's existing sprinkler system. After the factory suffered a $38 million fire loss, the property insurance carriers who paid the loss brought subrogation claims against the brokerage company and inspector, alleging that they failed to instruct the insured to install fire sprinklers internally in the mattress dryer. The Court held that the broker had no legal duty to make such recommendations, and dismissed all claims, including negligence and contract claims.
Presnick v. Town of Orange
Halloran & Sage represented a municipality in a case where a protestor was arrested for criminal trespass when he refused to leave a meeting of board of selectmen as it went into private session. The protestor brought federal civil rights and state law claims against the Town and various officials. The District Court held that the plaintiff's Fourth Amendment rights to be free of false arrest were not violated, and the arrest did not violate the protestor's First Amendment rights. The Court also ruled that Connecticut's open meeting law's definition was not unconstitutionally vague and the arrest did not violate plaintiff's equal protection rights. The defendant's motion for summary judgment was granted.
Alter c. Celotto, 95 Conn. App. 902,895 A.2d 872 (2006) (per curium)
In Alter c. Celotto, 95 Conn. App. 902,895 A.2d 872 (2006) (per curium) the Appellate Court affirmed the holding of the trial court, without written opinion, dismissing the plaintiff's claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The plaintiff lacked standing to pursue his action because the claim existed at the time he filed for bankruptcy. Under federal bankruptcy law, the claim was not vested with the plaintiff, but with the trustee who had not been previously notified of the claim and who was never a party to the case.
Moss v. Foster, 96 Conn. App. 369, 900 A.2d 548 (2006)
This case involves the enforcement of old deed restrictions between property owners on a hill overlooking Long Island Sound. The disputed deed restrictions concern trees and plantings that may obstruct views of the Sound. Halloran & Sage took over the case after the trial court dismissed it for insufficient evidence. On appeal we obtained an order for new trial based on arguments derived from the limited evidence in the record.
Uniroyal Chemical Company v. Town of Middlebury, 2006 WL 962210 (2d Cir. 2006)
In a major Superfund clean-up case, the court upheld the allocation of interest on clean-up costs on a pro-rate basis, consistent with the allocation of the underlying costs.
Collins v. Olin Corp., 418 F. Supp.2d 34 (D. Conn. 2006)
Assisted in obtaining summary judgment and dismissal of action by homeowners against municipality for alleged contamination.
Nichols v. Subway Restaurant, 98 Conn. App. 837, 912 A.2d 1037 (2006)
Appellate Court Enforces Unambiguous Insurance Policy Provision
The Connecticut Appellate Court recently affirmed judgment in favor of State Farm Insurance Company, finding that policy language relied upon by State Farm unambiguously reduced available uninsured motorist coverage limits by amounts paid under the policy's liability coverage. The Court, in a unanimous opinion, also held that the policy language was congruent with applicable Insurance Department regulations.
Bepko v. St. Paul Fire and Marine Ins. Co., 2005 WL 3619253 (D. Conn. November 10, 2005) (Dorsey, J.)
The United States District Court dismissed bad faith and statutory unfair insurance and trade practices claims against a professional liability carrier, finding that even under the liberal federal pleading standards, the plaintiff's complaint failed to state legally sufficient claims.
Hanks v. Powder Ridge Restaurant Corp., 276 Conn. 314, 885 A.2d 734 (2005)
The plaintiff was injured while snowtubing at the defendant's facility. Before he was allowed to participate, he signed a release and waiver agreement exculpating the defendant for liability from any and all claims, including those involving the defendant's own negligence. The Supreme Court held, in a divided en banc opinion, that although the release was properly drafted, it was not enforceable because it violated public policy.
Ernst v. Deere & Company, 92 Conn. App. 572, 886 A.2d 845 (2005)
In Ernst, the Connecticut Appellate Court addressed the availability of awards of attorney's fees in consumer protection cases. The plaintiff advanced the novel argument that public policy mandates consumers be awarded substantial attorney's fees awards for pursuing litigation in which no compensatory damages are available. The Appellate Court rejected the plaintiff's argument and agreed with Halloran & Sage's position that attorney's fees awards in such cases should be proportionate to the degree fo success obtained in the litigation.
Waldman v. Jayaraj, 88 Conn. App. 471, 869 A.2d 1254, cert. denied, 274 Conn. 903, 876 A.2d 11(2005)
The Appellate Court affirmed summary judgment in favor of landowner where plaintiff's counsel failed to timely move under Connecticut's accidental failure of suit statute. The Court held that the one-year limitation under that statute is not tolled by the filing of a motion to reargue a denial of a motion for to open.
Susan O’Donnell Defends Property Loss Matter
Susan defended the building owners in protracted litigation successfully resolved at mediation involving claims of over 50 plaintiffs following the 2006 loss and destruction by fire of a Norwich apartment complex. Creed, et al. v. Peachtree Ltd Partnership.
Kramer v. Petisi, 91 Conn. App. 26, 879 A.2d 526 (2005)
The plaintiff, a purchaser of land, brought a claim for negligent misrepresentation against the sellers and their agent, predicated on her claim that they negligently misrepresented the property boundaries. The plaintiff, however, did not obtain a survey of the land despite the advice to do so. The Appellate Court upheld a jury verdict in favor of the defendents, concluding that the failre to obtain a survey property formed the basis for a comparative negligence defense to the claim of negligent misrepresentation.
New Colt Holding Corp. v. RJG Holdings of Florida, Inc.
Joseph Fortner, Jr. defended a small manufacturer of replica firearms against claims that its revolvers infringed the trademarks and trade dress of a large competitor.
Lewis v. Chelsea G.C.A. Realty Partnership, LP, 86 Conn. App. 596, 862 A.2d 368 (2004).
This case involved a claim by a real estate developer that a competitor had engaged in vexatious litigation and violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act in connection with certain proceedings in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Connecticut. On appeal, Halloran & Sage successfully argued that the plaintiff's claims were federally preempted, because the plaintiff could have, but did not, bring the claims in the bankruptcy court. The decision represents one of the broadest applications by a state appellate court of the doctrine of federal preemption to state law claims.
Weigold v. Patel, 81 Conn. App. 347, 840 A.2d 19, cert. denied 268 Conn. 918, 847 A.2d 314 (2004)
The plaintiff's decedent was killed in an automobile accident caused by a psychiatric patient who fell asleep at the wheel. The plaintiff alleged that the medication prescribed to the patient caused her to fall asleep. The Connecticut Appellate Court held that a psychiatrist owes no duty of care to the public to warn a patient of the danger of operating a motor vehicle while taking medication.
Appellate Court Bars Application of Accidental Failure of Suit statute; Holds Negligence Claims Were Untimely Filed
Caffrery v. Stillman, 829 A.2d 881 (Conn. App. 2003)
In Caffrery v. Stillman, 829 A.2d 881 (Conn. App. 2003), the Appellate Court considered a case in which a former client filed a legal malpractice action against his attorney, asserting negligence and breach of contract. The Superior court granted the attorney's motion for summary judgment. On appeal, the Appellate Court held that: the accidental failure of suit statute did not save the former client's negligence claim, and because a purported breach-of-contract claim was in reality a negligence claim, and thus was governed by the three-year statute of limitations for tort claims, the claims were barred as untimely.
H & S Commercial Litigation Department Achieves Favorable Settlement in $237 Million B2B E-Commerce Lawsuit in Missouri
After three weeks of trial, the Halloran & Sage Commercial Litigation Department resolved a computer software case where the plaintiffs claimed $237 million in damages. This achievement was accomplished under unusual circumstances in which the client retained the Firm's Commercial Litigation team just six months before trial.
The Firm's client, a large software developer and integrator, was sued for, among other things, breach of contract, fraud, and negligence, by an international cooperative of floor covering dealers, which sought, like many other companies during the late 1990s, to revolutionize the way its industry conducts business by use of the internet. Essentially, this involved a change from a telephonic ordering process to a computerized one, through which many retail stores could order from many suppliers over the internet (known as a "many-to-many" e-commerce system).
Through several strong defenses and counterclaims for, among other things, trademark infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition under the Lanham Act, unfair trade practices, and violations of computer tampering statutes, the Commercial Litigation Department trial team aggressively attacked the plaintiffs' case.
Success was due in large part to the impressive coordination among the Department's members, who operated under extreme limitations to complete court-ordered discovery, including completing 24 depositions in 7 states from December 21, 2001 to January 10, 2002. The Firm's client was very pleased with the result, which served to maintain its solid reputation within the software industry.
Reichhold Chemicals, Inc. v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity Company, 243 Conn. 401, 703 A.2d 1132 (1997); 252 Conn. 774, 750 A.2d 1051 (2000)
Halloran & Sage represented several insurers in this environmental insurance coverage case involving contaminated sites across the nation. These landmark Connecticut Supreme Court decisions addressed the choice of law rules applicable to environmental insurance coverage disputes (Halloran & Sage served as coordinating appellate counsel).
Ginsberg v. Healy, 189 F.3d 268 (2d Cir. 1999)
In this civil rights case, the district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant car dealership against the plaintiff's claim that the defendant had jointly engaged with a police department in a practice of threatening its customers. On appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the district court's holding that the dealership was not a state actor, and that it thus could not be held laiable for civil rights violations.
Hertz Corp. v. Federal Ins. Co., 245 Conn. 374, 713 A.2d 820 (1998)
The coverage team obtained from the Connecticut Supreme Court an important and detailed discussion of the relationship between the coverage obligations of a self-insured lessor of a motor vehicle and a lessee's personal automobile carrier.
Amica Mutual Ins. Co. v. Franklin, 147 F.3d 233 (2d Cir. 1998)
A case where the Firm's insurer-client was confronted with potential exposure amounting to $3.5 million, the Firm obtained a favorable ruling from the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit which construed, for the first time under Connecticut law, the "regular use" exclamation in an automobile liability policy.