STATE OFFICIALS RESPOND TO ATTORNEY GENERAL’S DECISION ON
(HARTFORD, CT) – Today, the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) announced that it has received a letter from Attorney General Jepsen’s office stating that, based on its efforts, the Attorney General’s Office cannot find sufficient basis to support claims for violations of Connecticut consumer protection laws. Last year, when DCP became aware of the concrete foundation issue in eastern Connecticut, administration officials asked the Attorney General to investigate whether a legal case under existing Connecticut law was feasible. Based on the response from the Attorney General’s office last week, a CUTPA – or Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act – claim at this point does not appear possible.
Nonetheless, the Department of Consumer Protection, in conjunction with Lt. Governor Wyman’s office, the Insurance Department, and other partners in state government, will continue investigating next steps. The Insurance Department recently launched a data call to ensure that any affected homeowners received appropriate notice on any changes to their policy regarding this issue.
“The result is certainly disappointing for families who have made claims. At the same time, this result is not surprising given the framework of CUTPA, which requires that we prove a deceptive act or practice. We have worked closely with the AG’s office over the last year. Our agency will continue to move our investigation forward deliberately and thoroughly,” said DCP Commissioner Jonathan Harris, “We are confident that the information we have already gathered, and will continue to gather in the future, will be useful in the hands of those seeking to develop further resources for homeowners. This investigation remains one of our agency’s top priorities. We have always communicated that we know there will not be one fix to this problem, but that state and private sector partners will need to continue to explore multiple options for homeowners. We remain committed to that mission.”
“Our homes are core to family security and the biggest investment many of us make in our lifetime. It’s important that we find any and all assistance for residents,” said Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman. “We will continue to seek options for homeowners who are dealing with these foundation failures, and I encourage them to urge their insurers to participate in the fund to benefit impacted homes.”
“This has no doubt been a challenging and frustrating time for many families in eastern Connecticut – and we take their concerns very seriously. That’s why we are working so diligently to bring insurers to the table, have productive discussions, and hopefully help affected homeowners,” said Insurance Commissioner Katharine L. Wade. “We are continuing to move forward with a data call in order to determine whether residents received proper notice about changes in their policies and to collect more data in order to fully understand the scope of the issue.”
The investigation into the matter of deteriorating foundations in Eastern Connecticut is on schedule to be completed this fall, and a final report on the potential cause of deteriorating foundations is due by January 1, 2017 as a result of Public Act No. 16-45.
The letter from the Office of the Attorney General can be found here.
Office of Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman: