Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of Hartford, Hartford
Filed Date October 29, 2015
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION
PETER EMMETT WIESE, JUDGE.
The plaintiff, Lawnranger, LLC, commenced this civil action against the defendants, David Stabnick and Stabnick Landscaping & Design, Inc. The operative complaint is the second amended complaint, dated May 6, 2015.
This complaint consists of four counts which allege causes of action for breach of contract and quantum meruit as to each defendant.
In response, the defendants have set forth their answer and special defenses in a pleading, dated November 1, 2011.
Briefly stated, the case arises out of a business dispute concerning payment for snow removal services which the plaintiff provided to the defendant customer accounts.
The case was tried to the court on April 8, 2015, and May 6, 2015. During the trial, the parties presented the testimony of a number of witnesses and introduced many exhibits into evidence. Thereafter, the parties filed posttrial briefs with the court.
A. Evidentiary Issues
There are a number of evidentiary issues that must be addressed. The court and counsel agreed that the evidence would be presented subject to the preserved objections and the court would rule upon them in the memorandum of decision. They are as follows:
Plaintiff's Exhibits 1, 3, 4, 7a, 10;
Defendant's Exhibits D, E.
The court finds that there is some relevance to this proffered evidence and a foundation has been established. Accordingly, the objections are overruled. The clerk of the court is directed to mark the documents as full exhibits.
Testimony of Daniel Carvalho--April 8, 2015, transcript pp. 73-86.
The court finds that the testimony is not probative of the material issues to be determined by the trier of fact. Moreover, to the extent that it may be probative, it is outweighed by its prejudicial effect. The testimony will be disregarded and ordered stricken.
From the credible evidence at trial, the court finds the following relevant facts:
1. George Lewis has been a landscape contractor for approximately thirty years. He began his business as a sole proprietor and thereafter formed a business entity known as Lawnranger, LLC (Lawnranger). Mr. Lewis is the principal of Lawnranger.
2. In the year 2005, Lawnranger performed landscape maintenance service, snow services, landscape planting services, landscape design services and grounds maintenance services. These services were performed for both commercial and residential properties in the greater Hartford area. In 2005, Lawnranger employed between five to twelve employees. The number fluctuated at different times, because of the seasonal nature of the business.
3. David Stabnick is a landscape contractor. He is the principal in a business entity known as Stabnick Landscaping and Design, Inc. (Stabnick, Inc.). Stabnick, Inc., was formed in 2006. In years prior to 2006, Mr. Stabnick worked as a sole proprietor. The landscaping services performed include snow clearing, sanding and salting in the winter. In summer months, the work includes lawn maintenance, such as mowing, mulching and pruning.
4. Both Mr. Lewis and Mr. Stabnick are sophisticated businessmen who have substantial amounts of ...