Title

So, What Do You Do Again: Why the Primary Line of Business Test under the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act Is Unfair Note

Authors

Casey Olden

Document Type

Article

Abstract

The Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA) is a valuable toolfor the commercial litigator. However, because ofthe statute's vast potential applicability, courts have historically imposed limitations on the definition of "trade or commerce." One of these judicially created restrictions is the primary line of business test, which requires a plaintiff to demonstrate that the complained of conduct occurred in the defendant's primary line of business and not within an incidental transaction. This enhanced standard serves a gatekeeping function, striking CUTPA claims before they are considered on the merits. This Note argues that the Connecticut Supreme Court should finally address the primary line of business issue directly because the test has no basis in the statutory text or legislative history. In the course of evaluating this assertion, the primary line of business precedents are examined critically in a way that no reported decision has yet undertaken. The Note concludes by suggesting a strategy for ending the primary line of business inquiry while still honoring its policy goal to preclude the statute from becoming overly expansive.

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