Justia Health Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Connecticut Supreme Court
by
The Supreme Court held that Conn. Gen. Stat. 28-9 provided authority for Governor Ned Lamont to issue executive orders during the civil preparedness emergency he declared pursuant to the statute in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and that the statute passes constitutional muster.In response to the pandemic, Governor Lamont issued certain executive orders that limited various commercial activities at the State's bars and restaurants. At issue in this case was whether the COVID-19 pandemic constituted a "serious disaster" pursuant to section 28-9 and whether that statute conferred authority on the governor to issue the challenged executive orders. The Supreme Court held (1) Governor Lamont did not exceed his statutory authority when he issued the challenged orders; and (2) section 28-9 is not an unconstitutional delegation of the General Assembly's legislative powers to the governor. View "Casey v. Lamont" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court in favor of Defendant, Denise Merrill, Secretary of the State, intros action seeking declaratory and injunctive relief with respect to Defendant's change of the absentee ballot application for the August 11, 2020 primary election to add COVID-19 as a new reason for requesting an absentee ballot pursuant to Executive Order No. 7QQ, holding that the trial court did not err.At issue in this public interest appeal was whether Governor Ned Lamont's executive order, which was later ratified by the legislature and which modified Conn. Gen. Stat. 9-135 by adding COVID-19 as a permissible reason for absentee voting violates Conn. Const. art. VI, 7. The trial court granted jumtgnet for Defendant. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Executive Order No. 7QQ does not violate Article 6, Section 7. View "Fay v. Merrill" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the trial court insofar as it rendered judgment in Defendant's favor on counts alleging fraudulent transfer under the Connecticut Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (CUFTA), Conn. Gen. Stat. 52-552a through 52-552l, and unjust enrichment, holding that the trial court erred in rejecting Plaintiff's CUFTA claim but did not err in rejecting Plaintiff's unjust enrichment claim.Defendant Stephen McGee used a power of attorney granted to him by his elderly mother, Helen McGee, to transfer to himself funds from Helen's checking account. As a consequence of the transfers, Helen had insufficient assets to pay her debt to Plaintiff Geriatrics, Inc. Plaintiff brought this action, and the trial court rendered judgment in Defendant's favor on Plaintiff's CUFTA and unjust enrichment claims. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) in rejecting the CUFTA claim the trial court improperly failed to consider and apply agency principles; and (2) in light of the unrequited evidence, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in rejecting Plaintiff's unjust enrichment claim. View "Geriatrics, Inc. v. McGee" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the trial court granting the motions to dismiss filed by Defendants, healthcare providers, on the ground that Plaintiffs failed to commence their action within the five-year repose period of Conn. Gen. Stat. 52-555, the wrongful death statute, holding that, under the facts of this case, the trial court improperly resolved disputed jurisdictional facts without providing Plaintiffs an opportunity either to engage in limited discovery or to present evidence in connection with their argument that the repose period had been tolled by the continuing course of conduct doctrine. The Court remanded the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. View "Angersola v. Radiologic Associates of Middletown, P.C." on Justia Law

by
Certain policy and procedures of the Newtown Police Department did not impose a ministerial duty on the department’s officers to search Stanley Lupienski, an individual suffering from auditory hallucinations and shortness of breath, when they took him into custody pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. 17a-503(a).The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court granting summary judgment in favor of the Town of Newtown, holding (1) the arrest section of the Department’s policy applies only in the context of criminal arrest and does not apply in the context of civil mental health custody, which is governed by section 17a-503(a); and (2) Lupienski was not subject to mandatory search under the Department’s prisoner transportation section of the policy because the transportation policy does not apply to those under custody pursuant to section 17a-503(a). View "Hull v. Town of Newtown" on Justia Law

by
Vaccinations are not “medical treatment” within the meaning of Conn. Gen. Stat. 17a-10(c), and therefore, the statute does not authorize the Commissioner of Children and Families to vaccinate a child temporarily placed in her custody over the objection of that child’s parents.The children’s parents in this case entered pleas of nolo contendere as to neglect allegations and agreed to commit their two children temporarily to the care and custody of the Commissioner. The parents, however, objected to vaccination of the children for common childhood diseases in accordance with the Department of Children and Families’ usual practice. The trial court granted the Commissioner permission to vaccinate the children, concluding that the Commissioner had the authority and obligation to vaccinate the children pursuant to section 17a-10c. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the statute does not authorize the Commissioner to vacate children committed to her temporary custody without parental consent. View "In re Elianah T.-T." on Justia Law

by
Petitioner was charged with several criminal offenses. Petitioner pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. After a nonadversarial proceeding, the court rendered a judgment acquitting Petitioner of all offenses on the basis of mental disease or defect and committed Petitioner to the custody of the Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services (Respondent) for a period not to exceed twenty-five years. Respondent later transferred custody of Petitioner to the jurisdiction of the Psychiatric Security Review Board. Petitioner remained committed to the custody of the Board for more than twenty-five years. Petitioner then filed a petition for habeas corpus challenging his extended confinement. The habeas court denied Petitioner’s petition. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the habeas court properly denied Petitioner relief on his claim regarding the knowing and voluntary nature of his plea; and (2) the habeas court correctly determined that Petitioner did not receive ineffective assistance of counsel. View "Dyous v. Commissioner of Mental Health & Addiction Services" on Justia Law

by
Decedent admitted herself to Hospital for treatment for major depression and personality disorder. At the time of her admission, Decedent was diagnosed with high suicide ideation and had previously attempted suicide. One week later, Decedent committed suicide at Hospital. Plaintiff, the executor of Decedent's estate, filed a medical malpractice action against Hospital and Decedent's treating psychiatrist. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Defendants. The appellate court remanded the case for a new trial, concluding that the trial court improperly declined to the poll the jury to determine whether any of the jurors had read an article regarding the subject matter of the case published prior to trial. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that, under the circumstances of this case, the appellate court improperly determined that the trial judge abused his discretion in declining to poll the jury. View "Kervick v. Silver Hill Hosp." on Justia Law

by
Doctor was a physician who worked for Hospital on a study he claimed would assist in the treatment of children with abnormally low rates of growth. In actuality, Doctor was a child pornographer and pedophile and used the study as a cover to recruit and sexually exploit hundreds of children. The named plaintiff (Plaintiff), one of the exploited children, brought this action against Hospital alleging (1) Hospital negligently failed to supervise Doctor's activities in connection with the study, and (2) Hospital breached the special duty of care it owed to children in its custody. The trial court rendered judgment for Plaintiff on both claims and awarded him $2,750,000. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court did not err in its instructions to the jury. View "Doe v. Saint Francis Hosp. & Med. Ctr." on Justia Law

by
Claimant brought a claim before the Claims Commissioner seeking damages from the State as the coadministrator of the estate of her deceased daughter, who had died while confined in a correctional institution. In the course of Claimant's case, the Commissioner issued subpoenas to the Charlotte Hungerford Hospital requesting information about the decedent's treatment there. The Hospital refused to comply with the subpoena, arguing that the Commissioner had no authority to issue subpoenas to nonparties. The trial court enforced the Commissioner's subpoena, and the appellate court affirmed. Subsequently to the Supreme Court's certification of the Hospital's appeal, Claimant settled underlying case, and consequently, the State no longer sought to enforce the subpoenas. The Supreme Court dismissed the Hospital's appeal as moot and vacated the judgments of the lower courts, as the Court could no longer grant relief. View "State v. Charlotte Hungerford Hosp." on Justia Law