LIBERTY TRANSPORTATION, INC.
MASSACHUSETTS BAY INSURANCE COMPANY[*]
March 18, 2019
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 court, Shapiro, J.,
granted the defendant's motion to dismiss and rendered
judgment thereon, from which the plaintiff appealed to this
G. Blackburn, with whom, on the brief, was Paige B. Durno,
for the appellant (plaintiff).
Stephen O. Clancy, with whom, on the brief, was Jessica A. R.
Hamilton, for the appellee (defendant).
DiPentima, C. J., and Moll and Norcott, Js.
plaintiff, Liberty Transportation, Inc., appeals from the
judgment of the trial court granting the motion to dismiss
filed by the defendant, Massachusetts Bay Insurance Company.
The dispositive issue in the appeal is whether the court
properly concluded that the plaintiff lacked standing to
commence this action. We affirm the judgment of the trial
plaintiff set forth the following allegations in its
complaint. In August, 2011, the plaintiff owned property
located at 11 High Street in Suffield, which the defendant
insured for, inter alia, property damage, loss of income and
fair rental value. On or about August 28, 2011, the property
suffered wind and water damage during a hurricane. As a
result, the plaintiff claimed to have sustained damages for
lost income and lost fair rental value, and made an insurance
claim to the defendant. The defendant declined to pay the
plaintiff's claim. In August, 2013, the plaintiff
commenced this action against the defendant. Its complaint
set forth claims for breach of contract and breach of the
implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. It sought
money damages, interest, attorney's fees, costs, and any
other relief deemed appropriate by the court. The defendant
filed an answer and raised several special defenses on
January 8, 2016.
September 6, 2017, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss
pursuant to Practice Book § 10-30. Specifically, the
defendant argued that the plaintiff lacked standing to bring
its claim for lost rental income for two commercial units at
the property because the plaintiff had sold the property to a
third party on January 10, 2012,  and had assigned any
insurance money for any damages existing at the time of the
January, 2012 real estate closing. Specifically, it stated:
‘‘[The] [p]laintiff's assignment of its
rights to any potentially recoverable insurance proceeds to
[the third party] unequivocally extinguished [the]
[p]laintiff's corresponding right to recover those
amounts. [The] [p]lain-tiff, therefore, lacks standing to
maintain this action on its own behalf.''
October 6, 2017, the plaintiff filed a memorandum of law in
opposition to the defendant's motion to dismiss. It
argued that the loss of rental income occurred before the
formation of the real estate purchase agreement. The
plaintiff further claimed it was ‘‘classically
aggrieved in that it has a specific interest in the claimed
insurance proceeds . . . [and] suffered a loss due to the
breach of contract by the [defendant] and has standing to
bring this action.'' It also contended that it had
retained an interest in the damaged units as a result of its
decision to exercise a leaseback provision as set forth in
the real estate purchase agreement.
March 27, 2018, the court, Shapiro, J., issued a
memorandum of decision granting the defendant's motion to
dismiss. It first addressed the defendant's argument that
the plaintiff had assigned the rights to the insurance
proceeds to the third party pursuant to the terms of the real
estate purchase agreement. It specifically explained:
‘‘An assignment is a transfer of property or some
other right from one person (the assignor) to another (the
assignee), which confers a complete and present right in the
subject matter to the assignee. . . . Succession by an
assignee to exclusive ownership of all or part of the
assignor's rights respecting the subject matter of the
assignment, and a corresponding extinguishment of those
rights in the assignor, is precisely the effect of a valid
assignment.'' (Citations omitted; internal quotation
marks omitted.) The court concluded that a valid assignment
court was not persuaded by the plaintiff's arguments that
(1) it was entitled to the insurance proceeds because the
damage had occurred before it entered into the real estate
purchase agreement with the third party and (2) the execution
of the leaseback provision in the real estate purchase
agreement established its interest in the property such that
it had standing. The court also rejected the plaintiff's
claim that a separate agreement with the defendant entitled
the plaintiffto any insurance moneys. Indeed, the plaintiff
had failed to provide the court with a copy of this alleged
separate agreement. The court granted the defendant's
motion, concluding that ‘‘the plaintiff lacks
standing in the present case because, by virtue of the
assignment, it has no legal interest in alleged insurance
proceeds that are due and payable on account of damage to the
[property].'' This appeal followed.
carefully have examined the record and the briefs and
arguments of the parties, and conclude that the judgment of
the trial court should be affirmed. Because the trial
court'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
the applicable law on the issues. Liberty Transportation,
Inc. v. Massachusetts Bay Ins. Co.,
Superior Court, judicial district of Hartford, Docket No.
CV-13-6044771-S (March 27, 2018) (reprinted at 189 Conn.App.
600, 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); Bassford v. Bassford, 180 Conn.App.
331, 335, 183 A.3d 680 (2018); Samakaab v. Dept.
of Social Services, 178 Conn.App. 52, 54, 173 A.3d 1004
judgment is affirmed.
Court, Judicial District of Hartford ...