The Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act,

JurisdictionConnecticut,United States
Publication year2021
CitationVol. 69 Pg. 83
Pages83
Connecticut Bar Journal
Volume 69.

69 CBJ 83. The Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act,




83


The Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act

Robert M. Langer, John T. Morgan, David L. Belt; Connecticut Law Tribune, 1995. Vol. I - 323 pages text, 100 pages tables Vol. 11 - 362 pages. Vol. I - $150.00; Vol. 11 - $90.00 Introductory Price - $151.00 for set

The authors of this two volume treatise are to be commended for providing a comprehensive and comprehensible review of the history, interpretation and workings of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA). Mr. Langer may be considered to be the father of the Act, and David Belt and John Morgan have long been valuable commentators on the Act. Together, their many publications have provided the most authoritative analyses of the expanding influence of the Act in civil litigation.

Now they have joined to produce one volume of text that provides neophytes with basic knowledge of the Act and skilled practitioners with an excellent reference work. They have taken a cause of action which is omnipresent in civil litigation and placed it into perspective.

When the original legislation was introduced, this reviewer commented that it would probably grow to be a claim in one-third of civil litigation - now obviously a significant underestimate. It was soon recognized by the Bar that a CUTPA claim provided the opportunity for obtaining attorneys' fees and enhanced damages - a cudgel in encouraging settlement. Clever practitioners were adept in persuading the courts to expand the applicability of the statute to numerous types of claims, and the Legislature also has been favorably disposed to do so. Thus, as a result of the pervasiveness of CUTPA claims, this set provides a valuable source of information for both the plaintiffs' and the defendants' bars.

The chapters, and the sections of the chapters, have been well organized in principle and in sequence. The chapter titles are indicative of the thoroughness with which the subject has been treated and are: Introduction, Determining Standards of Conduct, Activities Covered by CUTPA, CUTPA Applied in Representative Cases, Defenses, Private Enforcement, Government Enforcement, Procedure. Volume I also has a table of cases with references to the sections of the text in which a case is cited.




84


Volume II of this set provides essentially all statutory and regulatory materials generally needed for litigation involving CUTPA claims. This reviewer generally objects to the printing of additional volumes of a set merely to include statutes and regulations since this increases the cost of obtaining the text. This is particularly true when the compiled materials are readily available through other sources. However, the increased cost objection has been overcome by the separate pricing of Volume II. Moreover, this volume contains, in addition to the CUTPA statutory provisions and regulations, a number of sections containing materials which are not so readily available. Included are the Rules of Practice of the Department of Consumer Protection, the statutory history of CUTPA, a listing of statutes which incorporate CUTPA by specific reference, tables of Appellate and Supreme Court decisions construing CUTPA, and sample pleadings of the Department of Consumer Protection and Attorney General as well as a simple complaint for a private plaintiff. Lastly, it has a complete bibliography which can be highly useful.

Unfortunately, the publisher has placed the footnotes at the end of the sections within the chapters, and this requires bouncing back and forth. However, many footnotes are highly detailed sources of additional information which should not be overlooked.

For this work to remain an authoritative reference, it will require periodic updating, and the publisher and the authors have both indicated plans to supplement the work, probably on an annual basis. The publisher has published this work in hard bound format. Separate supplements are difficult to use, and most similar works in this field are loose-leaf binders so that replacement pages can be inserted.

Certainly, this work provides both a comprehensible primer for the novice and a valuable and a scholarly reference work for experienced practitioners and jurists. As such, it is an excellent addition to the litigation section of any library.

Peter L. Costas

_________________ Footnotes:

*. Both of RisCassi & Davis, P.C., and the Hartford bar.

1. 231 Conn. 381, 650 A.2d 153 (1994).

2. Id. at 388.

3. Id. at 389, n.1 (Berdon, J., concurring).

4. Id. at 390 (Berdon, J., concurring,.

5. 231 Conn. 77, 646 A.2d 1308 (1 4).

6. 34 Conn. APP. 361, 642 A.2d 18 (1994).

7. 173 Conn. 567, 378 AN 599 (1977).

8. Minion, supra, 34 Conn. App. at 361.

9. 2 RESTATEMENT (SECOND),TORTS (1965) § 385.

10. 231 Conn. 265, 648 A.2d 873 (1994).

11. Id. at 270, n.3.

12. In Fisher v. Hodge, 162 Conn. 363, 294 A.2d 577 (1972), the court stated that § 14-154a imposes liability on a lessor regardless of the provisions of the rental contract restricting the use of the automobile to specified individuals. Id. at 368-69. The Court, in Pedevillano, indicated statement in Fisher was not necessary to the decision because Fisher concluded that the tortfeasor was an authorized driver. Pedevillano, supra, at 270, n.3.

13. Pedevillano supra, at 267, n.2. Although not pertinent to the decision, the agreement also permitted operation by the employer, valet parking attendants, and in an emergency situation. See id.

14. Id. at 269.

15. 113 Conn. 237, 155 A. 231 (1931).

16. Id. at 269.

17. Id. at 270.

18. Id. at 272.

19. Hammond & Groher, 1993 Connecticut Tort Law Review, 68 CONN.B.I. 61,161-63 (1994).

20. 228 Conn. 441, 636 A.2d 1335 (1994).

21. 33 Conn. App. 714, 638 A.2d 608, cert. denied, 229 Conn. 920, 642 A.2d 1212 (1994).

22. Id. at 721, n.7, citing Mauro v. Yale-New Haven Hospital, 31 Conn. App. 584, 627 A.2d 443 (IN3). The court, in this dicta, did not preclude the possibility that a failure to follow medical instructions could constitute contributory negligence in a malpractice action.

23. Id. at 7 . he argument appeared to be that the statute mandates that the jury in a negligence action specify in its verdict the percentage of such negligence attributable e to the claimant.

24. The court decided that Tort Reform 11 applied because the claimed negligence of the non-party physician occurred after October 1, 1987, although the claimed negligence of the defendant occurred prior thereto, when Tort Reform I (which provided for apportionment among "persons" rather than "parties") was in effect. Id. at 723, n.9. The court also noted that it was doubtful that the two doctors could have been joint tortfeasors anyway because the facts found by the jury indicated that they caused separate and distinct injuries.

25. Id. at 723-24 (citations omitted).

26. 35 Conn. App. 464, 646 A.2d 869, cert. granted, 231 Conn. 930, 649 A.2d 255 (1994).

27. Kinne v. DeBesse, 35 Conn A - 349 645 A.2d 1058 (1994 -

28. 229 Conn. 256 640 A.2d 74 (1994). A holding regarding L statute of limitations is discussed infra, at notes -

29. 35 Conn. App. 239, 645 A.2d 1029, cert. denied, 231 Conn. 934, 650 A.2d 172 (1994).

30. 34 Conn. App. 852, 643 A.2d 1314 (1994).

31. Id. at 854, n.3.

32. The phrase is translated as "False in one thing, false in everything."

33. Id. at 854-55.

34. 34 Conn. App. 871, 644 A.2d 381 (1994).

35. 33 Conn. App. 673, 638 A.2d 1073 (1994).

36. Interesting y, however, the Appellate Court also held that the statute of limitations was tolled by a conflict of interest between the interests of the minor and those of the legal guardian. See infra, note 176.

37. See Public Act 94-71.

38. 231 Conn. 168, 646 A.2d 195 (1994).

39. Id. at 175, citing Edmonson v. Dressman, 469 So. 2d 571, (Ala. 1985); Bill Branch Chevrolet, Inc. v. Burnett, 555 So. 2d 455 (Fla. App 1990); McCarthy v. Pedersen & Houpt, 250 Ill.App. 3d 166, 621 N.E. Brand v. New England Ins. Co., 534 So.2d 13 (La. App. 1988); Fishman v. Brooks, 396 Mass. 643, 487 N.E. 2d 1377 (1986); Lowman V. Karp 190 Mich App. 448 476 N.W. 2d 428 (1991); Ziegelheim v. Apollo, 128 N.J., 250, 607 A.2d 1298(1992); Chen v. Lipsig, 92 App. Div. 2d 516, 459 N.Y.S.2d 98 (1983).

40. Muhammad v. Stassburger, McKenna, Messer, Shilobod & Gutnick, 526 Pa. 541, 587 A.2d 1346 (1991).

41. Grayson, supra, 231 Conn. at 176.

42. Id. at 186-97. The question was whether the Judge believed that the proper role of a wife was in the home.

43 Id. at 190-93. The remarks during opening statement were not made by counsel for the defendant-attorneys but by counsel for an accountant who was. also sued and as to whom the jury returned a defendant's verdict.

44. 230 Conn. 12, 644 A.2d 871 (1994).

45. 229 Conn. 500, 642 A.2d 709 (1994).

46. Hammond & Groher, 1993 Tort Law Review, 68 CONN.B.J. 161,164-67 (1994).

47. 229 Conn. 213, 640 A.2d 89 (1994).

48. Id. at 222.

49. Id.

50. 229 Conn. 479, 642 A.2d 699 (1994).

51. Id. at 497.

52. Id.

53. Id. at 498-500.

54. 33 Conn. App. 832, 639 A.2d 530 (1994).

55. Id. at 835-37.

56. Id. at 837 n. 19.

57. 231 Conn. 370, 650 A.2d 535 (1994).

58. Id. at 376.

59. 219 Conn. 179, 199, 592 A.2d 912 (1991).

60. Quire supra, 231 Conn. at 377. d

61. Id. at 378.

62. 228 Conn. 358, 636 A.2d 786 (1994).

63. Amore v. Frankel, 29 Conn. App. 565, 616 A.2d 1152 (1992), rev'd 228 Conn. 348, 636 A.2d 786 (1994).

64. Amore, supra, 228 Conn. at 369.

65. The court also certified, but did not decide, the question of whether the statutory duty of the commissioner of transportation to maintain highway, bridges and sidewalks extends to driveways. Amore, supra, 228 Conn. at 363, n.5 and 364, n.6.

66. Id. at 369-75 (Berdon, J...

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