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Anderson v. O'Brien

Connecticut Superior Court
2005 WL 3624382 (2005)


Facts

Mrs. Anderson (plaintiff) was an elderly, childless widow who owned a house in a desirable neighborhood. Mr. and Mrs. O’Brien (defendants) befriended Anderson in order to persuade her to sell her house to them. Anderson eventually agreed to sell the O’Briens her house after the O’Briens promised to build her a cottage on the property in which she could live for the rest of her life. The O’Briens had their attorney, Mr. Manko (defendant), prepare a contract for the sale. The contract mentioned Anderson’s right to live in a cottage on the property but failed to provide her with a life estate to the property. Anderson signed the contract. A month before the specified closing date, while Anderson was ill, the O’Briens brought her to Manko’s office at the end of the day for the closing. Anderson expressed concern that she should have her own attorney, but the O’Briens and Manko reassured her that Manko would represent all of the parties well. Anderson did not read the closing documents, nor were they read aloud to her; however, she signed them anyway. After the closing, the O’Briens began to treat Anderson cruelly. The structure that was built for her on the property was more like a barn than a cottage and would not accommodate her furnishings. Anderson sued the O’Briens for fraud, breach of contract, and emotional distress, as well as Manko for legal malpractice, fraud, violations of state unfair-trade practices, and breach of fiduciary duty. Manko filed a motion for dismissal for failure to state a claim.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lopez, J.)

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