Justia Health Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Connecticut Supreme Court
Manginelli v. Regency House of Wallingford, Inc.
In this case determining the scope of immunity afforded by Executive Order No. 7V, as it related to acts or omissions undertaken in good faith by health care professionals and health care facilities because of an alleged lack of resources attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic the Supreme Court upheld the judgment of the trial court concluding that Defendants failed to establish that the immunity afforded by the order applied in this case.Governor Ned Lamont issued Executive Order No. 7V providing immunity from suit and liability to health care providers under certain circumstances relating to COVID-19. Plaintiff in this case filed wrongful death claims against Defendants, Regency House of Walling ford, Inc. and National Health Care Associates, Inc., alleging twelve counts of wrongful death based on medical negligence and medical recklessness. Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint, claiming immunity under Executive Order No. 7V. The trial court denied the motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court too narrowly construed the language of the order but nevertheless did not err in denying Defendants' motion to dismiss. View "Manginelli v. Regency House of Wallingford, Inc." on Justia Law
Mills v. Hartford HealthCare Corp.
The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the trial court in his wrongful death action filed by the daughter of the decedent and the executor of her estate, holding that the trial court erred in dismissing counts five, six, and seven of the complaint.At issue was Executive Order No. 7V, which conferred immunity on health care providers in connection with the governor's March, 2020 declaration of a public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Plaintiff brought this action against several physicians and a hospital, but Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that they were immune under the federal Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) for allegedly grossly negligent acts and omissions undertaken before the receipt of the decedent's negative COVID-19 test result. The court granted the motions to dismiss as to certain physicians. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part and remanded the case for further proceedings, holding that the trial court erred in concluding that Defendants were entitled to immunity under the PREP Act. View "Mills v. Hartford HealthCare Corp." on Justia Law
AGW Sono Partners, LLC v. Downtown Soho, LLC
The Supreme Court reversed in part the judgment of the trial court awarding Plaintiff $200,309 in damages for Defendants' breach of a lease agreement, holding that the trial court improperly allocated the burden of proof as to mitigation in determining the damages award.At issue in this appeal was how the executive orders issued by Governor Ned Lamont during the earliest months of the COVID-19 pandemic affected the enforceability of a commercial lease agreement for premises that Defendants leased from Plaintiff. Both parties appealed from the judgment of the trial court awarding Plaintiff damages. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding that the trial court (1) did not err in determining that the economic effects of the executive orders did not relieve Defendants of their obligations under the lease agreement; but (2) improperly relieved Defendants of their burden of proving that Plaintiff's efforts were commercially unreasonable under the circumstances, thus necessitating a new damages hearing. View "AGW Sono Partners, LLC v. Downtown Soho, LLC" on Justia Law
Fajardo v. Boston Scientific Corp.
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court in favor of Defendants in this action alleging that Boston Scientific Corporation's sale of its Obtryx Transobturator Mid-Urethral Sling System (Obtryx) violated the Connecticut Product Liability Act, Conn. Gen. Stat. 52-572m et seq., holding that there was no error.The named plaintiff alleged that the Obtryx, a transvaginal mesh sling implanted in women to treat stress urinary incontinence, injured her in various ways after it was implanted in her. Plaintiffs brought claims against Boston Scientific and the named plaintiff's gynecologist and medical practice, alleging violations of the Act, negligence sounding in informed consent, and misrepresentation. The trial court granted the medical defendants' motion for summary judgment. The case proceeded to trial against Boston Scientific, and the jury returned a verdict in its favor. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court (1) did not err in granting summary judgment for the medical defendants on the informed consent and misrepresentation claims; and (2) properly declined to instruct the jury on the reasonable alternative design prong of the risk-utility test. View "Fajardo v. Boston Scientific Corp." on Justia Law
Casey v. Lamont
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
Fay v. Merrill
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
Geriatrics, Inc. v. McGee
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
Angersola v. Radiologic Associates of Middletown, P.C.
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
Hull v. Town of Newtown
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
In re Elianah T.-T.
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