Rossetti v. City of New Britain

Decision Date14 June 1972
CourtConnecticut Supreme Court
PartiesAndrew ROSSETTI v. CITY OF NEW BRITAIN.

George J. Coyle, New Britain, for appellant-appellee (defendant).

Herbert Watstein, Bristol, with whom, on the brief, was Julius Watstein, Bristol, for appellee-appellant (plaintiff).

Before HOUSE, C.J., and RYAN, SHAPIRO, LOISELLE and MacDONALD, JJ.

RYAN, Associate Justice.

In the first count of the complaint the plaintiff sought recovery from the defendant for breach of contract for architectural services rendered. In the second count, he alleged that the firm of which he was a partner was hired by the defendant city to perform architectural services in connection with a new police station and Circuit Court quarters; that after a great deal of work and service had been performed the defendant terminated the services of the firm by hiring new architects for the project; that the plaintiff now owns all the assets of the partnership and that he has not been paid for the work. He sought damages in quantum meruit for the work and services rendered to the defendant. On the trial of the case to the jury, the trial court directed a verdict for the defendant on the first count. The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff on the second count in the sum of $12,300. From the judgment rendered on the second count the defendant has appealed to this court and the plaintiff filed a cross appeal claiming error in the action of the trial court in directing a verdict for the defendant on the first count.

Three of the defendant's assignments of error are directed to the charge. The claims of error addressed to the charge are to be tested by the claims of proof as they appear in the finding. Practice Book § 635; Intelisano v. Greenwell, 155 Conn. 436, 444, 232 A.2d 490; Morgillo v. Evergreen Cemetery Ass'n, 152 Conn. 169, 177, 205 A.2d 368. The defendant's claims of proof were attacked in the plaintiff's assignments of error on the ground that they are not supported by the evidence. The defendant filed no appendix to support those attacked and they are not supported in the evidence printed in the plaintiff's appendix. As a consequence they cannot be considered. The defendant's remaining claims of proof recite the following: On August 21, 1957, the common council of the city of New Britain by resolution authorized a newly-formed building committee for a new police station to engage an architect under the terms and rates of the so-called Blue Book to design a new police station for the defendant city and to prepare the necessary plans and specifications for it. The resolution further specified that the board of finance and taxation of the city should provide the necessary funds. It was approved by the mayor on August 23, 1957. The building committee, pursuant to the resolution, chose the firm of Rossetti, DiCorcia and Mileto, a partnership, to design the proposed new police station, and to prepare the necessary plans and specifications for it. It was understood by everyone concerned that the new police station was to be planned, financed and built under the terms of No. 343 of the Special Acts of 1957. The common council approved the building committee's selection of the architectural firm of Rossetti, DiCorcia and Mileto.

The plaintiff made the following claims of proof: The police building committee held its organization meeting on June 10, 1957. The function of this committee was to construct a new police station and Circuit Court building. At the organizational meeting the mayor reported the passage by the legislature of a special act authorizing a bond issue in the sum of $750,000. The committee unanimously chose a site at Main and East Main Streets for the proposed building. This was agreed on by the mayor and the redevelopment commission. In 1954 the plaintiff, Andrew Rossetti, associated with Philip DiCorcia in a partnership, and, in January, 1956, William Mileto joined this partnership. DiCorcia remained as a partner until December 31, 1957, and Mileto remained as a partner until December, 1960. Andrew Rossetti, either as a member of his firm or individually, had performed architectural services on numerous public buildings. The New Britain common council, by resolution approved August 23, 1957, by the mayor, authorized the committee to hire an architect to prepare plans and specifications for the new police station and court house. The resolution also provided that the architect so engaged would be paid at the standard rates established by the Blue Book and as set forth by architects. The common council expected the architect to be so paid. The common council on that day voted that the board of finance and taxation provide the necessary funds. On November 12, 1957, the board of finance and taxation approved an expenditure for a som up to $750,000 for the construction and equipment of the new building. It recommended to the common council the appropriation and issuance of bonds under No. 343 of the Special Acts of 1957. This was approved by the mayor on November 22, 1957, and by the common council and the mayor on January 27, 1958. The committee then hired the firm of the plaintiff, Rossetti, DiCorcia and Mileto, as the architects to draw sketches and plans for the new building and intended to pay for these services. Prior to July 25, 1957, Rossetti was notified by a telephone call from the mayor's office that his firm was awarded the architectural contract for the building. His firm was engaged as architect at standard rates established by the Blue Book to prepare plans and specifications and the firm expected to be paid for their services. The plaintiff was informed that the site was to be the corner of Main and East Main Streets in the city of New Britain. After August 9, 1957, Rossetti's firm began working on the development of preliminary plans. On September 16, 1957, a meeting was held with the building committee. Rossetti's firm was asked to develop these plans into a preliminary working drawing and this was done. By December, 1957, the set of preliminary and basic working drawings for this project was completed. All architectural work and other work was done before December 31, 1957. After a preliminary estimate of $661,000 in connection with this project the plaintiff Rossetti prepared and developed a contemplated cost estimate in the amount of $700,000. The approximate cost of using Rossetti's plans including architectural fees was $750,000. By December 31, 1957, Rossetti's firm had completed 30 percent of the project and the blueprints were turned over to the chairman of the committee. The plaintiff, Andrew Rossetti, was at all times in charge of this project to build a new court house and police station. Prior to the partnership dissolution on December 31, 1957, when the plaintiff Rossetti and Mileto took over from DiCorcia, Rossetti had given notice of this change during the latter part of November, 1957, to the chairman of the building committee and no objection was made. Neither Rossetti nor his firm ever received a letter from the building committee or from the city of New Britain informing them that the project was abandoned. When DiCorcia left the partnership on December 31, 1957, all draftsmen, officers, secretaries' desks, books, supplies and records remained at the firm office in Bristol. On December 31, 1957, the firm of Rossetti, DiCorcia and Mileto was dissolved and a new partnership was formed in the name of Rossetti and Mileto. When DiCorcia left the partnership he agreed that the business should belong to and be carried on by Rossetti and Mileto as continuing partners and that all assets, good will and accounts receivable would be assigned to...

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22 cases
  • Sykes v. Beal
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Connecticut
    • April 16, 1975
    ...example of a non-assignable contract right is a right to performance of personal services. See, e.g., Rossetti v. City of New Britain, 163 Conn. 283, 291, 303 A.2d 714 (1972).14 Thus a right to the services of a valet may not be a basis for garnishment, for the valet cannot be made to serve......
  • Wykeham Rise, LLC v. Federer
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    ...restrictions on the alienability of contract rights in favor of free assignability of contracts”); see also Rossetti v. New Britain, 163 Conn. 283, 291, 303 A.2d 714 (1972) (clarifying that whereas obligations under personal service contracts cannot be delegated, rights under such contracts......
  • Ackley v. Gulf Oil Corp., Civ. No. B-86-402 (EBB)
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    • May 5, 1989
    ...1 Conn.App. 310, 471 A.2d 670 (1984); Fletcher-Terry Co. v. Grzeika, 1 Conn.App. 422, 473 A.2d 1227 (1984); Rossetti v. New Britain, 163 Conn. 283, 303 A.2d 714 (1972). Connecticut also follows the general rule that a lease is freely assignable absent some restriction on assignment containe......
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