Date January 11
from Superior Court, judicial district of Danbury, Truglia,
Bruno, self-represented, the appellant (plaintiff).
Stephen E. Goldman, with whom, on the brief, was Jonathan E.
Small, for the appellees (named defendant et al.).
Keller, Mullins and Harper, Js.
plaintiff, Lisa Bruno, appeals from the judgment of the trial
court, rendered in favor of the defendants, The Travelers
Companies and The Travelers Home and Marine Insurance
Company,  after the court (1) granted the
defendants' second motion to strike counts three through
nine of the plaintiff's amended complaint on the ground
of absolute immu-nity,  and (2) granted the defendants'
motion for summary judgment on counts one and two on the
grounds that those counts were brought outside of the two
year limitation period contained in the parties' contract
of insurance. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the
court's judgment was improper because (1)
‘‘absolute immunity implicates the court's
subject matter jurisdiction, '' and, therefore, the
court erred in allowing the defendants to raise that issue
via a motion to strike, (2) the defendants were not immune to
suit on the basis of an absolute privilege, and (3) the
plaintiff's claims were not time barred.
review, we conclude that the litigation privilege provides an
absolute immunity from suit and, thus, implicates the trial
court's subject matter jurisdiction.As such, the
plaintiff's causes of action against the defendants are
barred. We further conclude that the court should have
dismissed the plaintiff's original complaint, rather than
permit her to replead, after it determined that the doctrine
of absolute immunity applied to her entire complaint.
Accordingly, the form of judgment is improper, and we,
therefore, reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand
the matter with direction to render a judgment of dismissal.
trial court set forth the following relevant facts in its
memorandum of decision as to the defendants' first motion
to strike. ‘‘The plaintiff and . . . Stephen
Bruno were divorced in 2008 by order of the Danbury Superior
Court . . . . [In her complaint, ] [t]he plaintiff alleges
that on February 24, 2014, a hearing was held in Danbury
Superior Court in her dissolution of marriage action on a
postjudgment motion brought by her former husband involving
court-ordered alimony and support payments. The plaintiff
alleges that an employee or representative of [the
defendants] . . . appeared at this hearing in response to a
subpoena issued by her former husband's attorney. The
plaintiff further alleges that the defendants' employee
made certain statements at this hearing and produced two
letters issued by the defendants that he ‘caused to be
entered into evidence, ' both of which, the plaintiff
claims, were defamatory to her. The plaintiff alleges that
the defendants intentionally and wrongfully allowed their
employee to testify at the hearing and produce the letters in
question, and that these actions have given rise to several
causes of action against them for damages.
plaintiff claims that as a result of the defendants'
actions or, alternatively, as a result of the defendants'
failure to contest the subpoena and take actions to block her
former husband's efforts to compel their employee's
testimony, they are liable to her . . . . The plaintiff seeks
compensatory, general, punitive, and consequential damages
from the defendants for these alleged
basis of the aforementioned letters and the employee's
testimony, both of which the plaintiff believed contained
defamatory statements about her, the plaintiff commenced this
action against the defendants in seven counts: (1) defamation
by libel per se, (2) violation of the Connecticut Insurance
Information and Privacy Protection Act, General Statutes
§ 38a-975 et seq., (3) negligent infliction of emotional
distress, (4) intentional infliction of emotional distress,
(5) violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act,
General Statutes § 42-110a et seq., (6) vicarious
liability, and (7) negligence.
defendants, thereafter, filed a motion to strike each count
that had been filed against them on the ground that they were
entitled to absolute immunity due to the applicability of the
litigation privilege. The plaintiff then filed a responsive
pleading. Subsequently, the defendants filed a reply
memorandum in which they argued, in part, that the
court's subject matter jurisdiction was implicated by the
doctrine of absolute immunity. On January 5, 2015, the court
granted the defendants' motion to strike each count of
the complaint on the ground of absolute immunity, concluding
that the litigation privilege applied. The court, however,
did not address the issue of subject matter jurisdiction.
that the court had granted the defendants' motion to
strike, the plaintiff exercised her option to replead and
filed an amended complaint pursuant to Practice Book §
10-44. In her amended complaint, she alleged the following
causes of action against the defendants: (1) breach of
contract, (2) breach of the implied covenant of good faith
and fair dealing, (3) violation of the Connecticut Unfair
Insurance Practices Act, General Statutes § 38a-815 et
seq., (4) defamation by libel per se, (5) violation of the
Connecticut Insurance Information and Privacy Protection Act,
General Statutes § 38a-975 et seq., (6) intentional
infliction of emotional distress, (7) violation of the
Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act, General Statutes
§ 42-110a et seq., (8) vicarious liability, and (9)
response to the amended complaint, the defendants filed a
motion for judgment on all counts of the stricken complaint
and requested, in the alternative, that the court strike
counts three through nine of the amended complaint on the
ground that it failed to cure the deficiencies in her
original complaint. The defen- dants also requested summary
judgment on the two new counts of the amended complaint, set
forth as counts one and two, on the basis that they were time
barred by the limitation set forth in the defendants'