Tort Law

Legal malpractice plaintiff can't sue for emotional distress, judge rules

A Connecticut judge has ruled that a client who sued her lawyer for alleged malpractice can’t include a claim for emotional distress.

Judge Jon Blue said that the plaintiff, Kimberly Ann Tyrseck, may be entitled to punitive damages if her claims are true, but she could not sue for emotional distress, the Connecticut Law Tribune reports.

Tyrseck alleged that lawyer Mark Carbutti of Wallingford failed to file a timely lawsuit against a bar for serving liquor to an intoxicated person, the driver of a car that struck and critically injured Tyrseck. Carbutti did sue the driver, who settled with Tyrseck.

Tyrseck claimed that Carbutti assured her she would get a recovery against the bar, even after he missed the deadline for filing suit. Carbutti did not respond to the Connecticut Law Tribune’s request for an interview.

Blue’s ruling contrasts with a decision last year by the Iowa Supreme Court, which allowed an emotional distress claim based in a malpractice suit against an immigration lawyer.

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