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Recall Total Info. Mgmt., Inc. v. Federal Ins. Co.

Supreme Court of Connecticut

May 26, 2015

RECALL TOTAL INFORMATION MANAGEMENT, INC., ET AL.
v.
FEDERAL INSURANCE COMPANY ET AL

Argued April 27, 2015.

Action to recover damages for, inter alia, breach of an insurance contract, and for other relief, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of Hartford, and transferred to the Complex Litigation Docket, where the court, Berger, J., granted the motions for summary judgment filed by the named defendant et al. as to one count of the complaint; thereafter, the court denied the plaintiffs' motion to reargue; subsequently, the court granted the plaintiffs' motion for judgment on the remaining counts of the complaint in accordance with the parties' stipulation, and rendered judgment in favor of the defendants, and the plaintiffs appealed to the Appellate Court, Lavine, Keller and Sullivan, Js., which affirmed the trial court's judgment, and the plaintiffs, on the granting of certification, appealed to this court.

SYLLABUS

The plaintiff insureds sought to recover damages from the defendant insurers, alleging tat the defendants had breached their duty to defend the plaintiffs in settlement negotiations with a third party pertaining to the loss of certain computer tapes that contained confidential information of the third party. The defendants moved for summary judgment, claiming that they had no duty to defend in the settlement negotiations and that the plaintiffs' loss was not covered within the scope of the personal injury clauses of the policies. The trial court rendered summary judgment in favor of the defendants, and the plaintiffs appealed to the Appellate Court, which affirmed the judgment of the trial court. The plaintiffs, on the granting of certification, appealed to this court. Held that the Appellate Court properly determined that the defendants did not breach their duty to defend and that the loss of the computer tapes did not constitute a personal injury as defined in the policies, and because the issues raised by the plaintiffs were properly resolved in the Appellate Court's well reasoned opinion, this court adopted that court's opinion as a proper statement of the relevant facts and applicable law concerning the issues; furthermore, this court's review of the Appellate Court's decision indicated that the court properly stated that the applicable standard of appellate review of summary judgment dispositions is plenary review and that the court properly engaged in plenary review in this case, notwithstanding the fact that the Appellate Court also incorrectly stated that, on appeal, the burden was on the party opposing summary judgment to demonstrate that the trial court decision to grant the summary judgment motion was clearly erroneous.

Edmund M. Kneisel, pro hac vice, with whom were Lawrence G. Rosenthal and Matthew T. Wax-Krell, for the appellants (plaintiffs).

Melicent B. Thompson, with whom, on the brief, was Eric S. Lankton, for the appellee (named defendant).

Robert D. Laurie, with whom, on the brief, was Elizabeth F. Ahlstrand, for the appellee (defendant Scottsdale Insurance Company).

Heather Spaide, William Passanante, Joshua Gold and Amy Bach filed a brief for United Policyholders as amicus curiae.

Jeffrey J. Vita and Gregory D. Podolak filed a brief for Professional Records and Information Services Management International, Inc., as amicus curiae.

Laura A. Foggan, pro hac vice, Edward R. Brown and Todd A. Bromberg filed a brief for American Insurance Association et al. as amici curiae.

Rogers, C. J., and Palmer, Zarella, Eveleigh, McDonald, Espinosa and Robinson, Js.

OPINION

Page 459

[317 Conn. 48] PER CURIAM.

This case concerns the scope of coverage afforded by personal injury clauses in two liability insurance policies and whether, pursuant to those policies, the insurers had a duty to defend the insured parties in settlement negotiations. The plaintiffs, Recall Total Information Management, Inc. (Recall), and Executive Logistics Services, LLC (Ex Log), appeal from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming the trial court's summary judgment rendered in favor of the defendants, Federal Insurance Company (Federal) and [317 Conn. 49] Scottsdale Insurance Company (Scottsdale).[1]Recall Total Information Management, Inc v. Federal Ins. Co., 147 Conn.App. 450, 465, 83 A.3d 664 (2014). The plaintiffs claim that the Appellate Court improperly concluded that: (1) the defendants did not waive coverage defenses by breaching their duty to defend the plaintiffs in ...


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