Argued: August 18, 2017
appeals from the judgment of the United States District Court
for the District of Connecticut (Michael P. Shea,
J.) granting judgment as a matter of law in favor of
Defendant. Plaintiff, successor-in-interest to an insurer of
property damaged by a hurricane, brought this negligence
action against Defendant, the Plaintiff's loss adjustment
agent, for failure to inform it of a mortgage on the
property. The suit was filed after the three-year limitations
period imposed by § 52-577 of the Connecticut General
Statutes. At trial, a jury found that the limitation period
was tolled by reason of the Defendant's continuing course
of conduct. The district court set aside the jury's
verdict, concluding that there was insufficient evidence to
support tolling. We certified to the Connecticut Supreme
Court the question whether the "trial evidence [was]
legally sufficient to support the jury's finding" of
tolling. The Connecticut Supreme Court held, Essex Ins.
Co. v. William Kramer & Assocs., LLC, 331 Conn. 493
(2019), that the evidence was not legally sufficient to
support tolling. We now affirm the district court's
MASSARON, Plunkett Cooney, Bloomfield Hills, MI, for
RICHARD A. SIMPSON (Kimberly A. Ashmore, on the brief), Wiley
Rein LLP, Washington, DC, for Defendant-Appellee.
Before: PIERRE N. LEVAL, REENA RAGGI, and RAYMOND J. LOHIER,
JR., Circuit Judges.
Evanston Insurance Company (hereinafter the
"Plaintiff" or the "Insurer") appeals
from the entry of judgment by the United States District
Court for the District of Connecticut (Michael P. Shea,
J.) in favor of defendant William Kramer &
Associates, LLC (hereinafter the "Defendant" or the
"Adjuster"), which served as the Insurer's
adjuster on a claim for hurricane damage. The sole issue on
appeal is whether the district court erred in overturning the
jury verdict and granting judgment as a matter of law in
favor of Adjuster on the basis of insufficiency of the
evidence to support the jury's conclusion that the
statute of limitations was tolled such that Insurer's
claim was timely filed. We assume the partiesʹ
familiarity with our earlier opinion in this matter, which
discusses at length the underlying facts, procedural history,
and arguments presented on appeal. Evanston Ins. Co.
v. William Kramer & Assocs., LLC, 890 F.3d
40 (2d Cir. 2018). We repeat them here only insofar as we
think it necessary to understand the discussion that follows.
jury trial, the jury found that the Adjuster had
"engaged in a continuing course of conduct such that
[its] duty to [the Insurer] continued in a manner that tolled
the statute of limitations for enough time that [the
Insurer's] claim is not time-barred." Essex Ins.
Co. v. William Kramer & Assocs., Inc., No.
3:13-CV-1537 (MPS), 2016 WL 3198190, at *7 (D. Conn. June 8,
2016). The jury awarded the Insurer damages for negligence in
the amount of $1, 250, 002.89. Id. at *1.
Adjuster then moved for judgment as a matter of law pursuant
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 50(b), arguing that the
record contained insufficient evidence to support the
jury's finding that a continuing course of conduct had
tolled the statute of limitations. The district court ruled
that "no reasonable jury could find, based on the
evidence presented at trial, that the continuing course of
conduct doctrine renders [Evanston's] claim timely,"
id. at *7, and entered judgment for the Adjuster.
The Insurer timely appealed.
found that Connecticut law was unclear as to the contours of
the doctrine that tolls a limitation period because of a
continuing course of conduct. Having the consent of the
parties for certification of the controlling question to the
Connecticut Supreme Court, we asked for that Court's
guidance on whether, under Connecticut law, the trial
evidence was legally sufficient to support the tolling of the
limitation period through October 21, 2010, so as to render
the Insurer's claim timely. Evanston Ins. Co.,
890 F.3d at 51.
Connecticut Supreme Court accepted the certification, and on
April 23, 2019, responded that "the evidence is not
legally sufficient to toll the statute of limitations on this
factual record." Essex Ins. Co. v. William Kramer
& Assocs., LLC, 331 Conn. 493, 497 (2019).
Connecticut Supreme Court's decision resolves the
controlling question of Connecticut law. We therefore ...