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Smith v. BL Companies, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Connecticut

October 30, 2018

BRANDON SMITH
v.
BL COMPANIES, INC., ET AL.

          Argued September 12, 2018

         Procedural History

         Action to recover damages for the defendants' alleged professional negligence, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of Fairfield, where the court, Kamp, J., granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment and rendered judgment thereon, from which the plaintiff appealed to this court. Affirmed.

          A. Reynolds Gordon, with whom was Frank A. DeNi-cola, Jr., for the appellant (plaintiff).

          Jared Cohane, with whom were Luke R. Conrad and Julia O'Brien, general counsel, for the appellees (defendants).

          Lavine, Sheldon and Bright, Js.

          OPINION

          PER CURIAM.

         The plaintiff, Brandon Smith, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendants, BL Companies, Inc. (company), and James Fielding, on the ground of res judicata. Specifically, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred as a matter of law by concluding that a prior judgment on a nuisance claim precluded the plaintiff from bringing a subsequent negligence claim that was predicated on the same nucleus of fact but not pleaded in the previous action. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

         The following facts and procedural history underlie the appeal to this court. The town of Redding (town) hired the company to survey, design, engineer, inspect, and supervise the ‘‘Streetscape Project, '' which included the construction of a block retaining wall. On September 17, 2011, at approximately 2 a.m., the plaintiff fell off the retaining wall onto a driveway approximately six feet below, sustaining multiple injuries.

         The plaintiff first brought an action against the town, its contractor, M. Rondano, Inc., and the company, alleging that the retaining wall constituted an absolute and public nuisance because it was not fenced off and no warning was provided. On December 5, 2014, the court, Radcliffe, J., rendered summary judgment in favor of the company on the ground that the pleadings and exhibits did not support the claim that the company had control of the property on which the retaining wall was constructed. The plaintiff appealed from the judgment of the trial court, but then withdrew his appeal.

         Thereafter, the plaintiff brought this second action against the defendants, alleging negligence. On April 3, 2017, the trial court, Kamp, J., granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment on the ground that the negligence claim was barred by res judicata in light of the previous judgment on the merits of the nuisance cause of action.[1] The plaintiff appeals from the rendering of summary judgment in the negligence action.

         The claims raised by the plaintiff in this court are essentially the same claims he raised in the trial court when he opposed the motion for summary judgment. We have examined the record on appeal, the briefs and arguments of the parties, and conclude that the judgment of the trial court should be affirmed. Because Judge Kamp's memorandum of decision thoroughly addresses the arguments raised in this appeal, we adopt that court's well reasoned decision as a proper statement of the facts and applicable law on the issues. Smith v. BL Cos., Superior Court, judicial district of Fairfield, Docket No. CV-16-6055532 (April 3, 2017) (reprinted at185 Conn.App., A.3d). It would serve no useful purpose for this court to engage in any further discussion. See, e.g., Woodruff v. Hemingway, 297 Conn. 317, 321, 2 A.3d 857 (2010); Samakaab v. Dept. of Social Services, 178 Conn.App. 52, 54, 173 A.3d 1004 (2017).

         The judgment is affirmed.

         APPENDIX

         BRANDON SMITH

         v.

         BL COMPANIES, ...


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