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Sienkiewicz v. Ragaglia

Court of Appeals of Connecticut

August 23, 2016

MICHELE SIENKIEWICZ ET AL.
v.
KRISTINE RAGAGLIA ET AL.

          Submitted on briefs May 25, 2016

         Appeal from Superior Court, judicial district of Fairfield, Radcliffe, J.

          Jon E. Jessen filed a brief for the appellants (plaintiffs).

          George Jepsen, attorney general, and Robert J. Deich-ert, assistant attorney general, filed a brief for the appellees (defendants).

          DiPentima, C. J., and Lavine and Alvord, Js.

          OPINION

          PER CURIAM.

         The plaintiffs, Michele Sienkiewicz and Craig Sienkiewicz, both individually and in their capacities as next friends of their children[1] appeal from the judgment of the trial court dismissing their complaint. They claim that they properly brought their action under the accidental failure of suit statute, General Statutes § 52-592, [2] and that sovereign immunity does not bar their claims. The plaintiffs failed to challenge the trial court’s conclusion that § 52-592 is inapplicable where, as here, a previous appeal related to the underlying action was withdrawn by the plaintiffs. As a result of this inadequate briefing, we decline to review their claims. See Practice Book § 67-4. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

         The court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss[3]on October 10, 2014, issuing the following order: ‘‘The motion to dismiss is granted, and the case is dismissed in its entirety. The court makes a finding that [§] 52-592 . . . does not apply, and the amended complaint of [May 6, 2010] does not bring an action against the individually named defendants in their individual capacity, but only in their scope of employment by the state of Connecticut. . . . [Section 52-592] has no applicability where there was a final judgment and the trial court was appealed, and such appeal was withdrawn by the party seeking the benefits of [the] accidental failure of suit.’’ (Emphasis added.)

         On appeal, the plaintiffs raise a number of claims, but they fail to address one of the court’s reasons for granting the defendants’ motion to dismiss, namely, whether an action can be brought under § 52-592 after the plaintiffs have withdrawn their appeal of the prior action.[4] As a result, the plaintiffs have briefed inadequately their claims regarding § 52-592 in this case.

         ‘‘Practice Book § 67-4 prescribes the required components of an appellant’s brief. It is necessary to this court’s review of a party’s claims on appeal that his brief contain, inter alia, argument and analysis regarding the alleged errors of the trial court, with appropriate references to the facts bearing on the issues raised. . . .

         ‘‘It is well settled that [w]e are not required to review claims that are inadequately briefed. . . . We consistently have held that [a]nalysis, rather than mere abstract assertion, is required in order to avoid abandoning an issue by failure to brief the issue properly. . . . We do not reverse the judgment of a trial court on the basis of challenges to its rulings that have not been adequately briefed.’’ (Citation omitted; internal quotation marks omitted.) Zappola v. Zappola, 159 Conn.App. 84, 86-87, 122 A.3d 267 (2015).

         We need not address the propriety of the trial court’s ruling because the plaintiffs have presented this court with an inadequate brief regarding an issue that was central to the trial court’s holding.[5]The judgment is affirmed.

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