January 12, 2016
from Superior Court, judicial district of New Haven, Vitale,
E. Minogue, for the appellant (plaintiff).
D. Grannum, pro hac vice, with whom was Scott M. Harrington,
for the appellee (named defendant).
Alvord and Norcott, Js.
plaintiff, Elma Dunn, appeals from the judgment of the trial
court rendered following the granting of a motion for summary
judgment as to the first count of her complaint in favor of
the defendant David Etzel. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that
summary judgment was improperly granted because the court
incorrectly concluded that a release agreement between the
plaintiff and her former employer barred the claim against
the defendant. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.
memorandum of decision, the court recounted the underlying
facts. ‘‘On February 25, 2014, the plaintiff . .
. commenced this action against the defendant . . . . In the
two count complaint, the plaintiff [alleged] the following
facts. The plaintiff and the defendant are licensed stock
brokers and financial advisors [who] engaged in a sexual
relationship with each other while working as partners,
sharing revenues equally. Shortly before the plaintiff and
the defendant were hired in June of 2002, as a broker team
for Janney Montgomery Scott, LLC (Janney), the plaintiff
terminated their relationship. Janney provided the plaintiff
and the defendant with joint financial advisor numbers so
that they could maintain their previous relationship as
partners and share revenue on a fifty-fifty basis. The
defendant solicited client accounts and the plaintiff
formulated client investment plans, prepared and reviewed
plans, and provided bond offerings to the clients.
at Janney, the defendant (1) refused to pay the plaintiff 50
percent of all the revenue generated each year by their
partnership, (2) unilaterally reduced the plaintiff’s
share of the joint partnership revenues by transferring
clients from their partnership account to a separate
individual account in his name, and (3) continued to make
unwanted sexual advances towards the plaintiff. As a result,
in count one, the plaintiff alleges the defendant breached
his fiduciary duty as a partner.’’
defendant filed a motion for summary judgment. He argued that
he was entitled to judgment as a matter of law because the
claim against him was barred by a ‘‘Settlement
Agreement and General Release’’ (release) signed
by the plaintiff and a representative of Janney.
motion was heard, and the court issued a written memorandum
of decision granting the defendant’s motion for summary
judgment. The court found that there was no genuine issue of
material fact as to whether the release barred the
plaintiff’s claim against the defendant and found that
it did bar the claim. The plaintiff filed a motion for
reargument and reconsideration, which the court
denied. This appeal followed. Additional facts
will be set forth as necessary.
plaintiff claims that the court erred in granting the
defendant’s motion for summary judgment. She advances
three principal arguments in support of her claim. She argues
that the release did not bar her claim asserting breach of
fiduciary duty because (1) Janney had no control over the
parties’ partnership, (2) the defendant was not a party
to the release, and (3) the plaintiff did not intend to
release any claims against the defendant when she agreed to
the terms of the release. We disagree.
review of a court’s decision to grant a motion for
summary judgment is plenary. ‘‘Practice Book
§ 17-49 provides that summary judgment shall be rendered
forthwith if the pleadings, affidavits and any other proof
submitted show that there is no genuine issue as to any
material fact and that the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. In deciding a motion for summary
judgment, the trial court must view the evidence in the light
most favorable to the nonmoving party. . . . The party moving
for summary judgment has the burden of showing the absence of
any genuine issue of material fact and that the party is,
therefore, entitled to judgment asa matter of
law.’’ (Internal quotation marks omitted.)
Savvidis v. Norwalk, 129 Conn.App. 406,
409–10, 21 A.3d 842, cert. denied, 302 Conn. 913, 27
A.3d 372 (2011). ‘‘Once the moving party has met
its burden . . . the opposing party must present evidence
that demonstrates the existence of some disputed factual
issue. . . . It is not enough, however, for the opposing
party merely to assert the existence of such a disputed
issue. Mere assertions of fact . . . are insufficient to
establish the existence of a material fact . . .
.’’ (Internal quotation marks omitted.)
Bonington v. Westport, 297 Conn. 297, 305,
999 A.2d 700 (2010).
appeal, we must determine whether the legal conclusions
reached by the trial court are legally and logically correct
and whether they find support in the facts set out in the
memorandum of decision of the trial court.’’
(Internal quotation marks omitted.) Savvidis v.Norwalk, supra, 129 Conn.App. 410. Our
review of the trial ...