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De La Concha of Hartford, Inc. v. Aetna Life Insurance Company

Connecticut Supreme Court
849 A.2d 382 (2004)


Facts

De La Concha of Hartford, Inc. (De La Concha) (plaintiff) leased retail space from Aetna Life Insurance Company (Aetna) (defendant) in the Aetna-owned and operated Hartford Civic Center (Civic Center). The Civic Center contained an enclosed mall with retail stores and space for conventions, exhibitions, and concerts. Profits enjoyed by the retailers, as well as the Civic Center, often depended on whether there was a conference or concert scheduled which brought in many more people to shop. Aetna never made a profit by running the Civic Center. In fact, Aetna had lost nearly $50 million over 20 years operating the venue. Aetna eventually decided to sell the Civic Center and began offering tenants to renew using short-term lease agreements. Nevertheless, De La Concha tried to exercise an option in its agreement with Aetna to renew the lease for an additional five years. At the time, however, De La Concha had been unable to pay rent due to its declining profits and had failed to maintain annual sales of at least $262,500, a condition for renewal of the lease. Aetna rejected De La Concha’s request to renew the lease. De La Concha brought suit against Aetna for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The trial court held for Aetna and De La Concha appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Palmer, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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