ALEX RODRIGUEZ ET AL.
December 8, 2015
to recover damages for personal injuries, and for other
relief, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial
district of Waterbury, where the court, Shapiro, J., granted
the defendant's motion to strike; thereafter, the court
granted the plaintiffs' motion for judgment and rendered
judgment for the defendant, from which the plaintiffs
appealed to this court.
plaintiffs, R, a retired police officer, and his wife, sought
to recover damages from the defendant police officer, whose
police K-9 dog had bitten R while he was still employed as a
police officer. The incident occurred when the defendant and
the K-9 had arrived in the defendant's police cruiser at
the scene of an altercation to assist R in subduing and
arresting individuals who had been involved in the
altercation. R claimed, inter alia, that the defendant's
conduct constituted negligent operation of a motor vehicle
within the statutory (§ 31-293a) exception to the
exclusivity provision of the Workers' Compensation Act
(§ 31-275 et seq.). The trial court granted the
defendant's motion to strike the entire complaint and
rendered judgment thereon, from which the plaintiffs appealed
to this court. The plaintiffs claimed that the court
improperly struck the complaint when it concluded that their
causes of action were barred by § 31-293a. Held
that the trial court properly granted the defendant's
motion to strike, and that court having thoroughly addressed
the arguments raised in this appeal, this court adopted the
trial court's well reasoned memorandum of decision as a
proper statement of the relevant facts and the applicable law
on the issues.
Del Buono, with whom was Donald McPartland, for the
F. O'Connor, for the appellee (defendant).
Keller and Schaller, Js.
Conn.App. 786] PER CURIAM.
plaintiffs, Alex Rodriguez and his wife, Rachel Rodriguez,
appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor
of the defendant, Douglas Clark, after the court struck the
plaintiffs' complaint in its entirety. The plaintiffs
claim that the court improperly concluded that their causes
of action were barred by the exclusivity provision of the
Workers' Compensation Act (act), General Statutes §
31-275 et seq. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.
relevant procedural facts may be summarized as follows. In
July, 2013, the plaintiffs commenced this action against the
defendant by means of a four count complaint. The plaintiffs
alleged that, on July 13, 2011, the plaintiff and the
defendant were Middletown police officers who at all times
relevant were engaged in their official police duties in
Middletown. The plaintiff was in the process of subduing and
arresting individuals who were involved in an altercation, at
which time the defendant arrived upon the scene to aid his
fellow officers. The defendant drove to the scene in a marked
police cruiser accompanied by Niko, a trained police K-9 dog
that was kept and/or owned by him. The defendant parked his
cruiser at the scene, leaving the key in the ignition with
the motor running. After the defendant had exited the cruiser
and was providing assistance to his fellow officers at the
scene, Niko exited the back of the cruiser by means of an
open window, attacked and " nipped" a third police
officer, and " attacked and bit" the plaintiff. The
plaintiff alleged that he incurred a variety of physical
injuries that, among other things, have detrimentally
affected his mobility and his quality of life, and have
caused him to retire from a career as a police officer.
count one, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant was
negligent in several ways for failing to restrain and [162
Conn.App. 787] control Niko at the scene of the altercation.
The plaintiff alleged that the defendant's conduct
constituted negligent operation of a motor vehicle under
General Statutes § 31-293a. In count two, the
plaintiff alleged that the defendant was liable for his
damages under the dog bite statute, General Statutes §
22-357. In counts three and four of the complaint, Rachel
Rodriguez brought corresponding derivative claims for loss of
October 9, 2013, the defendant filed a motion to strike all
four grounds of the complaint on the ground that all four
counts were barred by the exclusivity provision of the
act. The plaintiffs objected to the motion.
Subsequently, the court held a hearing on the motion to
strike. On June 10, 2014, the court issued a memorandum of
decision in which it concluded that the plaintiffs'
claims were barred by the exclusivity provisions of the
act. On July 7, 2014, the court rendered
judgment in [162 Conn.App. 788] favor of the defendant on the
stricken complaint. This appeal followed.
carefully have considered the record, the briefs submitted by
the parties, as well as the arguments of the parties advanced
at the time of oral argument before this court. We have
reviewed the court's memorandum of decision in accordance
with the plenary standard of review that applies to the legal
determinations of the trial court in granting a motion to
strike one or more counts of a complaint. See, e.g.,
Kortner v. Martise, 312 Conn. 1, 48-49, 91 A.3d 412
(2014). Our examination of the record and the arguments of
the parties persuades us that the judgment of the trial court
should be affirmed. Because the trial court's memorandum
of decision fully addresses the arguments raised in the
present appeal, we adopt its concise and well reasoned
decision as a proper statement of the relevant facts and the
applicable law concerning the issues raised by the
plaintiffs. See Rodriguez v. Clark, 162 Conn.App.
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