CHAPTER 925
STATUTORY RIGHTS OF ACTION AND DEFENSES

Table of Contents

Sec. 52-557p. (Formerly Sec. 52-577p). Assumption of risk by person engaged in recreational equestrian activities, when.
Sec. 52-564. Treble damages for theft.
Sec. 52-568. Damages for groundless or vexatious suit or defense.
Sec. 52-571.
Sec. 52-571b. Action or defense authorized when state or political subdivision burdens a person's exercise of religion.
Sec. 52-571aa. (Formerly Sec. 52-571). Discrimination on account of membership in armed forces so as to cause deprivation of rights, privileges or immunities usually enjoyed by public. Penalty.
Sec. 52-571bb. Discrimination on account of membership in armed forces re access to any place of public accommodation, resort or amusement. Penalty.
Sec. 52-572h. Negligence actions. Doctrines applicable. Liability of multiple tortfeasors for damages.
Sec. 52-572n. Product liability claims.

      Sec. 52-557p. (Formerly Sec. 52-577p). Assumption of risk by person engaged in recreational equestrian activities, when.

      Protection granted by this statute does not permit operator of horseback riding facility to avoid liability entirely for its negligence or its employees' negligence; the release plaintiff signed broadly indemnifying facility's operators from liability for damages resulting from operators' own negligence was a contract of adhesion and invalid as it violates public policy and is not in the public interest. 280 C. 153.

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      Sec. 52-564. Treble damages for theft.

      Because count of plaintiff's complaint alleging civil theft is devoid of any factual assertion that defendants acted with the requisite intent to permanently deprive plaintiff of her property, plaintiff failed to state a cause of action for civil theft, and count is legally insufficient. 99 CA 719.

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      Sec. 52-568. Damages for groundless or vexatious suit or defense.

      Statute applies equally to claims against private litigants and attorneys and does not suggest any basis for treating probable cause differently depending on the type of defendant against whom the action is brought and therefore in a vexatious litigation action against a law firm the presence or absence of probable cause should be judged by the general objective standard. 281 C. 84.

      Prejudgment remedy is not a civil action for purposes of vexatious litigation. 100 CA 63. Statutory action for vexatious litigation differs from a common-law action only in that a finding of malice is not an essential element, but will serve as a basis for higher damages. 103 CA 20. Trial court properly concluded that law firm did not have a proper purpose in filing a shareholder litigation suit pursuant to Sec. 33-948 to permit inspection of corporate records, where stock repurchase offer had expired prior to filing of suit. Id.


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      Sec. 52-571. Transferred to Sec. 52-571aa.

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      Sec. 52-571b. Action or defense authorized when state or political subdivision burdens a person's exercise of religion.

      Subsec. (b):

      Plaintiff could not prevail on claim that, pursuant to this subsec. antidiscrimination statutes should be enforced against religious institution upon showing of compelling state interest; although this subsec and Subsec. (a) authorize state to burden "exercise" of a person's religion upon showing of compelling state interest, Subsec. (d) expressly precludes state from burdening "any religious belief," and because internal governance of religious institution, including employment of ministers and clergy, is a protected religious belief of the institution, commission correctly determined that it lacked jurisdiction. 98 CA 646.


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      Sec. 52-571aa. (Formerly Sec. 52-571). Discrimination on account of membership in armed forces so as to cause deprivation of rights, privileges or immunities usually enjoyed by public. Penalty. Any person who subjects or causes to be subjected any other person to the deprivation of any rights, privileges or immunities usually enjoyed by the public, on account of membership in the armed forces of the state, as defined by section 27-2, or of the armed forces, as defined by section 27-103, or on account of the wearing of the uniform of such service, or who, on account of such membership or the wearing of any such uniform, deprives any other person of the full and equal enjoyment of any advantages, facilities, accommodations, amusement or transportation, subject only to the limitations established by law and applicable alike to all persons, or who, on account of such membership or the wearing of such uniform, discriminates in the price for the enjoyment of any such privileges, shall forfeit and pay to the person injured thereby the greater of one thousand dollars or treble damages, together with costs and a reasonable attorney's fee.

      (1949 Rev., S. 8312; 1957, P.A. 163, S. 44; P.A. 07-128, S. 3.)

      History: P.A. 07-128 substituted "armed forces" for "United States" and substituted penalty of the greater of $1,000 or treble damages, "together with costs and a reasonable attorney's fee" for double damages in any court of competent jurisdiction; Sec. 52-571 transferred to Sec. 52-571aa in 2008.

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      Sec. 52-571bb. Discrimination on account of membership in armed forces re access to any place of public accommodation, resort or amusement. Penalty. (a) No person may deny any individual within the jurisdiction of this state full and equal accommodations in any place of public accommodation, resort or amusement because of such individual's membership in the armed forces of the state, as defined in section 27-2, or the armed forces, as defined in section 27-103, or on account of the wearing of the uniform of any such armed forces, subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law and applicable alike to all persons.

      (b) Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be fined not less than twenty-five dollars or more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.

      (P.A. 07-128, S. 2.)

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      Sec. 52-572h. Negligence actions. Doctrines applicable. Liability of multiple tortfeasors for damages.

      Subsec. (n):

      Trial court properly determined that withdrawal of the action against one of defendants did not constitute a "release, settlement or similar agreement" within meaning of the statute, so as to permit an apportionment complaint by remaining defendant. A release and settlement represents a surrender of a cause of action pursuant to an agreement. A withdrawal shares few of the essential characteristics of a settlement and release and may be accomplished unilaterally and unconditionally. 283 C. 412. Court construed "similar agreement" to mean an agreement having the same essential characteristics of a release or settlement, and presumed that had legislature intended for apportionment to apply to withdrawn parties, it would have used term "withdrawal" in addition to, or in lieu of "similar agreement". Id. Concurring opinion: Withdrawal of a negligence claim against defendant that is supported by consideration constitutes a "similar agreement" within meaning of the statute and therefore triggers statute's apportionment of liability provisions. Id. Dissenting opinion: Disagreed with majority conclusion that a withdrawal is not a "release, settlement or similar agreement" for purposes of apportionment scheme. Reasoned that legislature would not have taken steps to abolish joint and several liability in favor of proportional liability and then created loophole that empowers plaintiff to return to joint and several liability through strategic withdrawal of an action against one co-defendant that has effect of depriving another co-defendant of opportunity to invoke proportional liability. Id.


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      Sec. 52-572n. Product liability claims.

      Subsec. (a):

      Claim that defendant breached duty to warn of dangerous and hazardous condition of rented scaffolding is barred by exclusivity provision of subsec. 284 C. 16.


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