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March 7, 2024

On March 1, Murtha Cullina won a decisive victory in Connecticut Appellate Court in the case of Northeast Building Supply LLC v. Maureen Merrill et al. The three-judge Appellate Court panel ruled that the Superior Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over an application for a prejudgment remedy brought against Murtha Cullina's clients because the applicant lacked standing to assert the claim of vexatious litigation. 

The application for prejudgment remedy was filed in the aftermath of a lawsuit for collection of a debt in which the plaintiff seller had prevailed. After the lawsuit was over, the prevailing party – the plaintiff seller – assigned its rights to bring a vexatious litigation claim against the buyer and our clients. The assignee then filed an application for prejudgment remedy against the buyer and our clients alleging that there was probable cause to support a claim of vexatious litigation based on the pursuit of an allegedly frivolous defense.

Murtha Cullina attorneys Lorey Leddy and David Friedman were successful in defeating the application for prejudgment remedy and the applicant filed an appeal to the Appellate Court. One of the issues raised for the first time on appeal by Lorey and David was an argument that the vexatious litigation claim was not legally assignable and therefore that the assignee did not have standing to commence legal proceedings against Murtha's clients, asserting a claim of vexatious litigation that had been assigned to them. The Appellate Court agreed and reversed the judgment and directed the Superior Court on remand to enter a judgment of dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

Additionally, the work of paralegal JoAnne DiPersio and legal administrative assistant Eleanor Nelson was instrumental in the success of this case.

Read the full decision.

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