November 8, 2018
from the Superior Court, Judicial District of Hartford,
Richard M. Rittenband, Judge Trial Referee, Palmer J.
Hartford, Robaina, J.
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
M. Wisser, West Hartford, with whom, on the brief, was Sarah
Black Lingenheld, Farmington, for the appellant (defendant).
Jean-Louis, assistant attorney general, with whom, on the
brief, was George Jepsen, Hartford, former attorney general,
for the appellee (plaintiff).
McDonald, Mullins, Kahn and Ecker, Js.
Conn. 777] After an arbitration proceeding, the defendant,
White Oak Corporation (White Oak), was awarded a money
judgment against the plaintiff, the [332 Conn. 778]
Department of Transportation (department) in the amount of
$8,362,308.41 plus interest. In paying that judgment on
behalf of the department, the Office of the State Comptroller
(comptroller) withheld $1,642,312.14 for taxes White Oak had
owed to the state. As a result of this withholding, White Oak
filed a motion with the trial court seeking a determination
as to whether the judgment had been satisfied. In its motion,
White Oak asserted that the department did not fully satisfy
its judgment because, during a prior arbitration proceeding
between the parties, the department had alleged but failed to
prove its claim for taxes owed to the state and that, thus,
the doctrine of collateral estoppel precluded the comptroller
from reducing the payment by any amount for taxes owed.
trial court rejected White Oaks claim and determined that
the judgment had been satisfied. The defendant now appeals
from the trial courts determination, again alleging that
collateral estoppel precluded the comptroller from
withholding the taxes owed to the state. We agree with the
trial court that the department satisfied its judgment to
White Oak because General Statutes § 12-39g imposed a
mandatory obligation on the comptroller to reduce the amount
paid to White Oak by the amount of taxes owed to the state as
those taxes were not the subject of a timely filed
administrative appeal. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of
the trial court.
record reveals the following facts and procedural history. In
1994, the parties, White Oak and the department, entered into
a contract for construction of the Tomlinson Bridge in New
Haven. Nearly three years later, the parties entered into a
second contract for reconstruction of the Yellow Mill Pond
Bridge in Bridgeport. Both projects were beset by
considerable delays and conflicts between the parties. As a
result, in 2000, the parties entered into an agreement to
reassign the [332 Conn. 779] contracts to a different
contractor. Thereafter, White Oak filed notices of claims and
corresponding demands for arbitration for each project
pursuant to General Statutes § 4-61 (b) claiming, inter
alia, wrongful termination of each contract.
matter relating to the Tomlinson Bridge was the first to
proceed to arbitration (Tomlinson arbitration). [332 Conn.
780] In its answer to White Oaks revised amended demand, the
department asserted various setoffs and counter-claims, only
one of which is relevant here. The relevant counterclaim
alleged that "[White Oak] presently has a tax debt due
and owing to the state." During arbitration, no evidence
was adduced regarding the tax claim and neither party
addressed it during oral argument. In 2004, the Tomlinson
arbitration panel issued its award, rejecting White Oaks
wrongful termination claim and awarding the department
$1,169,648.33 in damages. With regard to the departments
claim for a tax debt ...