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Grigerik v. Sharpe

Connecticut Supreme Court
721 A.2d 526 (1998)


Edward Lang contracted with Gary Sharpe (defendant) to draft a site plan for land that Lang had contracted to sell to Joseph Grigerik (plaintiff). Although Sharpe denied the allegation, Lang informed Sharpe at the time of contracting that the town sanitarian required the site plan a showing of how drainage, including a septic system, could be implemented on the property before the property could be approved as a building lot. Lang further informed Sharpe that he had a buyer ready to buy the land if the lot was so approved. Sharpe’s site plan was approved by the town sanitarian, and Grigerik completed his purchase of the land from Lang. However, when Grigerik applied for a building permit, the new town sanitarian denied the permit because the property, which bordered a reservoir, could not have a septic system. Grigerick brought an action against Sharpe and his firm for breach of contract, claiming to be a third party beneficiary to the contract between Lang and Sharpe. The trial court instructed the jury that Sharpe could be liable to Grigerik if Grigerik established that that he was either an intended, contemplated or foreseeable beneficiary of the contract. The jury returned a verdict for Grigerik and Sharpe appealed, asserting error in the jury instructions. The appellate court reversed, holding that Grigerik could not recover merely by establishing he was a foreseeable beneficiary, and that only the promisee must demonstrate the intent to benefit a third party.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Borden, J.)

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