United States District Court, D. Connecticut
Sylvester Traylor, Plaintiff, Pro se, Quaker Hill, CT.
For Donald Leone, Attorney, Chinigo Leone & Maruzo LLP, Defendant: Chelsea Castiglioni, LEAD ATTORNEY, Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, PC-Htfd, Hartford, CT.
For Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Attorney General, on behalf of State of Connecticut Superior Court, Joseph D'Alesio, State of Connecticut Court of Operations, Michael L. Regan, New London Criminal Division State's Attorney, Lawrence J. Tytla, Supervisory Assistant State's Attorney, Philip Fazzino, Supervisory Inspector, Robert Galvin, Dr., Commissioner for the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health, Defendants: Madeline A. Melchionne, LEAD ATTORNEY, Attorney General's Office, Hartford, CT.
For Connecticut Medical Insurance Company, Defendant: Dennis R. Anti, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, Morrison Mahoney, LLP - Springfld, Springfield, MA; Edward N. Storck, III, Gina M. Hall, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Morrison, Mahoney LLP-CT, Hartford, CT.
Robert Knowles, on behalf of Advanced Telemessaging Inc, Defendant, Pro se, Waterford, CT.
Neil Knowles, on behalf of Advanced Telemessaging Inc, Defendant, Pro se, Waterford, CT.
RULING ON MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Alvin W. Thompson, United States District Judge.
In the Third Amended Complaint (Doc. No. 230) (" Complaint" ), which is the operative complaint, pro se plaintiff Sylvester Traylor (" Traylor" ) asserts numerous claims against defendants Connecticut Medical Insurance Company (" CMIC" ) and Attorney Donald E. Leone, Jr. (" Leone" ) related to the suicide of Traylor's wife, the late Mrs. Roberta Mae Traylor, in 2004. Count Eleven of the Complaint remains pending against Leone, and Counts Eleven and Fifteen remain pending against CMIC. Count Eleven alleges that the defendants, including CMIC and Leone, spoliated medical and telephone record evidence related to a suit that Traylor had brought against the late Mrs. Traylor's doctor, among others. Count Fifteen alleges that CMIC violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act as a result of its alleged actions set forth in Count Eleven and CMIC's practice of hiring lawyers who will defend cases where an insurer plans to destroy evidence.
Leone and CMIC have each moved for summary judgment. For the reasons set forth below, their respective motions are being granted.
I. Factual Background
In the Complaint, the plaintiff contends that his rights have been violated in connection with the death of his wife and the underlying lawsuits he had filed against her treating physician, among others. Traylor alleges that prior to his wife's death on March 1, 2004, she was a patient of Dr. Bassam Awwa (" Dr. Awwa" ) and his practice group, Connecticut Behavioral Health Associates (" CBHA" ).
Traylor has filed a number of lawsuits against various defendants arising out of his wife's death. Among these lawsuits was a medical malpractice action against Dr. Awwa and CBHA commenced in 2006, which the Connecticut Superior Court ultimately dismissed (the " Underlying Action" ). See Traylor v. Awwa, Docket No. KNL-CV-06-5001159S, 2011 WL 1025029 (Conn. S.Ct. Feb. 15, 2011). CMIC insured Awwa and CBHA, who were represented in the Underlying Action by Leone.
II. Legal Standard
A motion for summary judgment may not be granted unless the court determines that there is no genuine issue of material fact to be tried and that the facts as to which there is no such issue warrant judgment for the moving party as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986); Gallo v. Prudential Residential Servs., 22 F.3d 1219, 1223 (2d Cir. 1994). When ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the court may not try issues of fact, but must leave those issues to the jury. See, e.g., Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986); Donahue v. Windsor Locks Bd. of Fire Comm'rs, 834 F.2d 54, 58 (2d Cir. 1987). Thus, the trial court's task is " carefully limited to discerning whether there are any genuine issues of material fact to be tried, not to deciding them. Its duty, in short, is confined . . . to issue-finding; it
does not extend to issue-resolution." Gallo, 22 F.3d ...