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Defense verdict in Professional Negligence Case


After five weeks of evidence in a case assigned to the court’s complex litigation docket, a jury in Hartford rendered a defense verdict for a real estate broker and its associated realtor. Craig Fontaine was lead counsel and Kristi Gardner was second chair.

The lawsuit stems from a foreclosure action after plaintiff fell behind in her mortgage payments in the beginning of 2012. As a result, the loan servicer commenced a foreclosure action on the property. Plaintiff failed to appear in the foreclosure action and was defaulted. Judgment in favor of the loan servicer was entered and the court ordered a foreclosure by sale. At auction the loan servicer was the sole and winning bidder. The court had not yet approved the sale, and accordingly title had not passed, when the servicer assigned the realtor to inspect and change the locks on the property, and assigned another contractor to remove all remaining items from the property.

As a result of aggressive motion practice, the claims asserted in the original complaint were substantially narrowed by the time of trial.

The jury found for all defendants except the loan servicer which was found to be 50% negligent and the plaintiffs were determined to have been 50% negligent. The jury awarded total damages of $10.00. After a reduction for plaintiffs’ negligence plaintiffs were awarded just $5.00.

Plaintiff’s last demand was $2,100,000.00 in the aggregate as to all defendants.