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4.2-1  Effect of Contract Language

Revised to January 1, 2008

[<If dispute is about existence of terms:>  The parties have a dispute as to whether the contract provides for <insert terms in dispute>.  The plaintiff claims <insert plaintiff's contention>, and the defendant claims <insert defendant's contention>.  The plaintiff must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the contract contained the terms that the plaintiff seeks to enforce.]

[<If there is a dispute over meaning:>  The parties have a dispute as to the meaning of the language of the contract that states <insert terms in dispute>.  Here, the plaintiff claims that this term means <insert plaintiff's contention> and the defendant claims <insert defendant's contention>.  The plaintiff must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the disputed terms meant <insert plaintiff's contention>.]

To determine whether the contract provided <insert disputed issue>, you must decide whether it was the parties' intent to provide <insert disputed issue>.  The first place to look to find the parties' intent is the wording that was used in the contract.  Words in a contract are to be given their ordinary meaning [, unless they are special terms of trade or the parties have given them special meaning].  If you cannot determine what was intended from the language you may consider the circumstances surrounding the entering into the contract or other legal doctrines that I will provide to you in these instructions.

Authority

Ramirez v. Health Net of Northeast, Inc., 285 Conn. 1, 13-14 (2008); Tomlinson v. Board of Education, 226 Conn. 704, 722 (1993); Southern New England Contracting Co. v. Norwich Roman Catholic Diocesan Corp., 175 Conn. 197, 199 (1978).
 


 

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