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Emotional Distress Damages for Breach of Contract

The provision of personal care services abounds in our society.  Many of these situations involves the delivery of various services to children, the elderly and to the intellectually disabled or challenged at daycare and assisted living facilities.  This has become “big business” in Connecticut and other states.  These services are typically rendered pursuant to a contract of some type entered into by the facility and the parent of a child or the adult child of an elderly person.

When these contracts are violated by the facility, the parent or adult child is entitled to sue the facility for the breach of that contract.  A question that will arise in such a case is whether the damages claimed in such a lawsuit will be limited to “pecuniary” or “out of pocket” losses or will emotional distress damages also be allowed?  The answer to this question may impact the overall viability of the potential claim and could affect the damaged person from obtaining legal accountability for the facility’s wrongdoing.

 While this question has not yet been fully addressed by Connecticut’s appellate courts, one Superior Court did analyze the issue and refused to dismiss a claim for emotional distress damages arising from a breach of a personal services contract.  In that case, the parents of a severely intellectually disabled daughter signed a contract to place their daughter in a residential facility that provided services to young adults with neurological disabilities.  Under the contract, the parents paid tuition to the facility.  As part of her care, the facility agreed to provide their daughter with her prescribed medications.  While in the facility’s care, their daughter’s physical condition declined substantially.  An investigation determined that employees of the facility had been stealing the daughter’s medication.

This situation not only caused the parent’s daughter great harm, but it caused them to suffer significant amounts of emotional distress.  They sought damages in their breach of contract lawsuit for their severe emotional distress.  The facility sought to have that claim stricken from the lawsuit but the court refused to do so.  The court held that although some of the damages claimed by the parents might be considered “tortlike”, they could still be recovered in a breach of personal services contract lawsuit because damages for emotional distress were “reasonably forseeable” in this situation.

If you have suffered severe emotional distress arising out of a breach of a personal services contract, please contact us for a free legal consultation.


Connecticut Superior Court Judge Upholds Negligent Security Jury Verdict

In a recent case tried in New Britain Superior Court, Judge Cynthia Swienton upheld a jury verdict for a plaintiff who was assaulted at a nightclub by a nightclub employee.  The plaintiff had filed suit against the nightclub claiming that the defendant establishment failed to provide its patrons with a reasonable amount of safety and protection from harm.  The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff and awarded him financial compensation for his medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.  The defendant asked the court to overturn the jury’s verdict.  The court refused and held that, “the defendants did not take adequate action to prevent the assault…”
If you would like to consult with a Crime Victim Lawyer, please contact us by using the Free Case Evaluation Form.

Victim Advocate Seeks To Delay Disbursement Of East Hartford Murder Victim’s Estate

The Crime Victim Advocate for the State of Connecticut has filed a special request with the East Hartford Probate Court to ask the court to delay the distribution of assets of the estate of Beverly Therrien.  Ms. Therrien’s son, Brett Bednarz, has been criminally charged with killing his mother and the Victim Advocate has asked the court to delay the distribution of Ms. Therrien’s assets until the criminal case against Mr. Bednarz is completed.  You can read the Hartford Courant’s article by David Owens here:

Victim Advocate Seeks To Delay Disbursement Of East Hartford Murder Victim’s Estate


National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

The National Center for Victims of Crime has announced that National Crime Victims’ Rights Week will take place from April 21-27, 2013.  The theme this year is “New Challenges, New Solutions”.  This week allows this fantastic organization an opportunity to revisit its history, celebrate its achievements and advance the progress of victims’ rights.  We wholeheartedly support the mission of the NCFCV and look forward to observing 2013 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.  If you want more information, visit their website at www.VictimsofCrime.org.


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