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Zauner v. Brewer

Connecticut Supreme Court
596 A.2d 388 (1991)


Facts

Brewer (defendant) inherited a life estate in property owned by Ward. Zauner (plaintiff) was to take the remainder, either when Brewer died or “surrendered the premises.” Brewer took possession of the property upon Ward’s death in 1967 and lived there until 1988, when she moved and leased the subject property to a third party. Zauner then sued to take the property, arguing that Brewer had surrendered the property. Zauner also sued to recover damages for waste, alleging that Brewer failed to make ordinary repairs necessary to preserve the property. For example, Brewer allowed the boat dock to become split, the retaining wall to move and crack, the boat house to begin sinking at one corner, and the pond vegetation to become so overgrown that the pond became unusable. Brewer argued that any failure on her part did not constitute waste because it did not result in substantial or permanent injury to the property. The trial court granted Brewer summary judgment, and Zauner appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Glass, 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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