J.D.C. ENTERPRISES, INC.
SARJAC PARTNERS, LLC
January 14, 2016.
to recover damages for, inter alia, breach of contract, and
for other relief, brought to the Superior Court in the
judicial district of Hartford, where the town of West
Hartford was cited in as a party defendant; thereafter, the
named defendant filed an amended third party complaint
against the defendant town of West Hartford; subsequently,
the court, Hon. Richard M. Rittenband, judge trial referee,
granted the motion to strike the third party complaint filed
by the defendant town of West Hartford; thereafter, the
court, Scholl, J., granted the motion for judgment on the
third party complaint filed by the defendant town of West
Hartford and rendered judgment thereon, from which the named
defendant appealed to this court.
plaintiff, J Co., sought damages from the defendant S Co. for
remediation work J Co. had done in connection with flooding
at real property that was owned by S Co. After J Co. had
determined that the damage to S Co.'s property had been
caused by a damaged municipal storm line, S Co. brought a six
count, third party complaint against the town of West
Hartford, seeking, inter alia, damages for common-law
negligence and indemnification pursuant to statute (§
7-465). S Co.'s complaint did not name as a defendant any
agent, employee or officer of the town. The complaint alleged
that the town had the authority to lay out, construct and
maintain sewers pursuant to statute (§ 7-148 [c] [B] and
[C]) and a town ordinance (§ 12-40). The town thereafter
filed a motion to strike S Co.'s entire complaint on the
ground that the town enjoyed governmental immunity from
common-law negligence claims. The trial court determined that
all six counts of S Co.'s complaint sounded in common-law
negligence, and that neither § 7-148 nor town ordinance
§ 12-40 abrogated municipal liability. The court further
determined that whether to repair or to install storm
pipelines were discretionary acts by the town. The court
thereafter granted the town's motion to strike and
rendered judgment for the town, from which S Co. appealed to
this court. S Co. claimed, inter alia, that the trial court
improperly granted the town's motion to strike because it
erred in concluding that town ordinance § 12-40 did not
extend to subterranean storm water pipelines and that the
repair of such pipelines was a discretionary function.
Held that the trial court properly granted the
town's motion to strike S Co.'s entire third party
complaint, that court having correctly determined that all
counts of the complaint sounded in common-law negligence, and
neither § 7-148 nor town ordinance § 12-40
abrogated the town's common-law immunity; moreover, S Co.
did not cite any statute that abrogated the town's
common-law immunity, S Co. relied solely on its common-law
negligence claim on the part of the town during the entire
course of the litigation, and S Co. could not invoke
indemnification pursuant to § 7-465 because it did not
name as a defendant any agent, employee or officer of the
Greene, for the appellant (defendant-third party plaintiff).
S. Wilson II, for the appellee (third party defendant town of
C. J., and Beach and Flynn, Js. FLYNN, J. In this opinion the
other judges concurred.
Conn.App. 509] FLYNN, J.
third party plaintiff, Sarjac Partners, LLC (Sarjac), appeals
from the judgment of the trial court rendered after the
granting of the motion to strike its six count third party
second amended complaint filed by the defendant town of West
Hartford (town). Sarjac argues that the court improperly
granted the town's motion to strike. We disagree and
affirm the judgment of the trial court.
following procedural history and factual allegations from the
operative third party complaint are relevant to this appeal.
The underlying case began when Sarjac suffered flood damage
to property it owns, known as 36 LaSalle Road in West
Hartford (property), and engaged the plaintiff, J.D.C.
Enterprises, Inc., for remediation work in connection with
the flooding and resulting damage.
to June 12, 2013, the property had experienced periodic
flooding and sustained water damage requiring [164 Conn.App.
510] repair and remediation of the water and moisture damage.
Sarjac engaged remediation companies to determine the source
of the water problem, but none were able to identify
definitively the source of the problem, so it replaced sump
pumps on the property. On June 12, 2013, the property
suffered major flooding causing significant damage. The
following day, Sarjac put the town on notice that it would
seek restitution from the town should it be determined that
the floodwater originated from a defect in the town's
pipes. J.D.C. Enterprises, Inc., was engaged to stop the
flooding, prevent further flooding, and to determine its
cause. During the investigation by J.D.C. Enterprises, Inc.,
a sinkhole formed on the front pavement.
engineering official visited the premises and advised both
Sarjac and J.D.C. Enterprises, Inc., that the town had no
storm lines running through that location, but if any such
pipe existed, it was inactive. However, after investigation
by J.D.C. Enterprises, Inc., and Sarjac, it was determined
that a municipal storm line did exist, a two foot section of
the pipe was missing, the line was active, and it was owned
by and/or controlled by the town. J.D.C. Enterprises, Inc.,
was then engaged by Sarjac to remediate and repair the damage
and to prepare a report, which subsequently concluded the
damage to Sarjac's property was caused by a damaged
active storm water line.
its bill for services remained unpaid, J.D.C. Enterprises,
Inc., the first party plaintiff, brought the first party
action against Sarjac seeking the sum of $154,559.54 for its
work plus additional fees and costs. Sarjac in turn commenced
this third party action against the town seeking damages for
negligence, common-law indemnity, and a declaratory judgment
seeking a judicial determination as to what part of the bill
from J.D.C. Enterprises, Inc., should be borne respectively
by it and the town. The third party complaint further [164
Conn.App. 511] alleged that pursuant to General Statutes
§ 7-148 (c) (6) (B) and (C), the town has authority to
lay out, construct, and maintain sewers and pursuant to the
town of West Hartford ordinance § 12-40, its Department
of Public Works " shall be responsible for the
repairing, maintaining and cleaning of streets and sewers . .
. ." 
October 6, 2014, the town moved to strike the entire second
amended third party complaint on the [164 Conn.App. 512]
ground that the allegations were legally insufficient to
state a claim on which relief could be granted because the
town enjoys governmental immunity against common-law
negligence claims unless such immunity has been abrogated by
statute. The court ruled that the third party complaint
sounded in negligence in all of its six counts, generally a
municipality is immune from liability, and neither §
7-148 nor local ordinance § 12-40 abrogated municipal
immunity. It further held that to repair or not to repair and
to install or not to install are ...