CONNECTICUT LIGHT AND POWER COMPANY v.
GARY PROCTOR, SC 19531
Judicial District of Tolland
Contracts; Whether Appellate Court Correctly Concluded That Trial Court Properly Found an Implied in Fact Contract Between the Parties. In 2008, Robert Chan doing business as Eastern Poultry and Pedigree Chicks (Pedigree Chicks) purchased a poultry business located on a farm in Ellington. In August, 2008, the defendant, who was employed as a consultant to Pedigree Chicks, telephoned the plaintiff for the purpose of establishing an electrical service account for the business. The plaintiff, however, refused to create an account in the name of Pedigree Chicks because no such business was registered with the Secretary of State. Three months later, the defendant again telephoned the plaintiff seeking to establish an account for Pedigree Chicks. During the call, the defendant provided the plaintiff with his personal information, including his full name, home address, and social security number, and stated that he would assume responsibility for all electrical services furnished to the farm on and after the date the business was purchased by Chan. The plaintiff created a new account under the name “Gary Proctor d/b/a Pedigree Chicks” and mailed a letter to the defendant asking that he complete an application for service and return it with a security deposit. The defendant, however, never paid the security deposit or completed the application. Subsequently, when the defendant learned that he was being billed by the plaintiff, he unsuccessfully attempted to have Chan assume responsibility for the debt. The plaintiff, after supplying electric service to the farm for several months, terminated the service for nonpayment and brought this action seeking $14,620.51 in damages for unpaid electrical services. The trial court rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiff, finding that the defendant had entered into an implied in fact contract with the plaintiff and therefore that the defendant was liable for the electricity bill. The Appellate Court (158 Conn. App. 248) affirmed that judgment, ruling that the trial court’s finding that there was an implied in fact contract between the parties was not clearly erroneous. In so ruling, the court determined that there was evidence in the record to support the finding that the plaintiff rendered its services with the reasonable expectation that the defendant would pay for them and that the defendant accepted the services in a manner that reasonably led the plaintiff to believe that he intended to pay. The defendant appeals, and the Supreme Court will consider whether the Appellate Court properly concluded that the trial court properly found an implied in fact contract between the parties.