2020 Connecticut General Statutes
Title 52 - Civil Actions
Chapter 927 - Survival of Actions
Section 52-599 - Survival of cause of action. Continuation by or against executor or administrator.

Universal Citation: CT Gen Stat § 52-599 (2020)

(a) A cause or right of action shall not be lost or destroyed by the death of any person, but shall survive in favor of or against the executor or administrator of the deceased person.

(b) A civil action or proceeding shall not abate by reason of the death of any party thereto, but may be continued by or against the executor or administrator of the decedent. If a party plaintiff dies, his executor or administrator may enter within six months of the plaintiff's death or at any time prior to the action commencing trial and prosecute the action in the same manner as his testator or intestate might have done if he had lived. If a party defendant dies, the plaintiff, within one year after receiving written notification of the defendant's death, may apply to the court in which the action is pending for an order to substitute the decedent's executor or administrator in the place of the decedent, and, upon due service and return of the order, the action may proceed.

(c) The provisions of this section shall not apply: (1) To any cause or right of action or to any civil action or proceeding the purpose or object of which is defeated or rendered useless by the death of any party thereto, (2) to any civil action or proceeding whose prosecution or defense depends upon the continued existence of the persons who are plaintiffs or defendants, or (3) to any civil action upon a penal statute.

(1949 Rev., S. 8337; 1953, S. 3235d; P.A. 82-160, S. 256; P.A. 87-237.)

History: P.A. 82-160 rephrased the section and inserted Subsec. indicators; P.A. 87-237 amended Subsec. (b) to authorize a plaintiff's executor or administrator to enter and prosecute the action “at any time prior to the action commencing trial” and to provide that the plaintiff has one year “after receiving written notification of the defendant's death,” rather than one year after the defendant's death, to apply for substitution of the decedent's executor or administrator.

Administrator should enter within time limited, but the court may, in its discretion, permit him to do so later. 8 C. 235; 56 C. 173; 77 C. 349; 88 C. 105. An action may survive as to some counts and not as to others. 27 C. 328. A naked legal right may survive, though the executor could take no beneficial interest. 8 C. 233. The equity of section covers writs of error; waiver of the necessity for taking out a writ of scire facias. 5 D. 338. Judgment entered as of the term in which the verdict was rendered, defendant having died since its rendition. 15 C. 426. Death of plaintiff after verdict will not prevent rendition of judgment, though the action cannot survive. 18 C. 208. Sheriff's death does not affect suit against him for deputy's default. 30 C. 354. Husband cannot continue suit for injury to wife's land after her death. 33 C. 41. The same cause of action survives that was pending at the decedent's death. Id., 55. Motion to dismiss for dilatory appearance held made too late. 36 C. 351. Applies to appeals from decrees of courts of probate. 41 C. 329; 110 C. 648. Action upon a penal statute does not survive the death of defendant. 48 C. 16. Executor of one wrongfully releasing collateral security is liable to the owner for its value. 51 C. 156. Survival at common law and under statute. 75 C. 10; 77 C. 383; 88 C. 100. Effect of death of plaintiff pending appeal; 74 C. 730; so of defendant. 85 C. 573. Survival of tort action; fraudulent representation to induce marriage. 65 C. 397. Survival of ejectment. 75 C. 11. Issuing execution after plaintiff's death on judgment recovered in lifetime. 79 C. 685. Insolvency of defendant's estate no defense. 88 C. 100. Scire facias, not motion, proper method to cite in executor. 88 C. 100. Effect upon attachments. 90 C. 323. Proper procedure where conservator brings action and ward dies. 91 C. 680. Effect and application. 98 C. 206. Quasi contract action to recover money obtained by undue influence survives defendant's death pending suit without aid of section. Id., 210. Applies to right to compensation for incapacity before death, or, if award already made, to any accrued payments due under award. 105 C. 399. When Connecticut courts have assumed jurisdiction, death of tortfeasor will not defeat action accruing under law of foreign state where the action does not survive; but otherwise if death occurs before suit brought here. 107 C. 175. Cited. 112 C. 151; 115 C. 254; 117 C. 638. Late citation to administrator of deceased defendant permitted at court's discretion. 120 C. 113. Action for death due to highway defect survives under section. 122 C. 80. History of statutes relating to survival of causes of action for personal injury. Id., 95. Wife's claim against husband for past support survives his death. 124 C. 547. Cited. 127 C. 692; 137 C. 642. Gives absolute right to cite in representative of deceased defendant within 1 year and thereafter in the discretion of the court if good cause is shown for the delay. 141 C. 397; followed, 170 C. 186. If plaintiff had begun her action in this state before the death of defendant's intestate, the action would have survived under Connecticut survival statutes, our courts having assumed jurisdiction. 142 C. 278. Distinguished from Sec. 52-555. 144 C. 659. Cited. 153 C. 360; 159 C. 374. Action upon appeal could be revived by moving to have administrator appointed for deceased party. 160 C. 409. Cited. 169 C. 641; 170 C. 443, 447; 178 C. 529; 187 C. 53; Id., 423; 191 C. 447; 192 C. 280; 194 C. 52; 202 C. 609; 203 C. 187; 204 C. 760; 205 C. 324; 209 C. 437; 213 C. 282; Id., 548; 223 C. 14; 226 C. 282; 232 C. 780.

Cited. 1 CA 291; 2 CA 523; 7 CA 522; 17 CA 130; 23 CA 404; 42 CA 59; 43 CA 586; 46 CA 150. Cause of action can survive if a representative of decedent's estate is substituted for the decedent. 74 CA 617. In foreclosure action in which both defendant and decedent were named, Sec. 52-600, rather than this section or Sec. 52-325, applies. 165 CA 144. Section limits its ambit to executors or administrators, it does not authorize suits by parties such as next friends, putative administrators, or estate examiners. 176 CA 64.

Action under former Sec. 18-49 did not survive death of prisoner; it was barred by the last clause of this section. 7 CS 329; 21 CS 397. Cited. 9 CS 184. History. 11 CS 117. Father is not entitled to recover for lost service of son who has been wrongfully killed, nor is he entitled to recover for medical and hospital expenses incurred on behalf of such son; son's cause of action has been made to survive but section does not provide for survival of father's action. 14 CS 394. Cited. 16 CS 118; Id., 430; 18 CS 88. Liens and attachments placed against one owner of property held jointly under a survivorship deed does not survive that owner although the action does. 19 CS 141. When a statute can be classified as penal. 21 CS 397. Where prenatal injuries result in death, the personal representative of the child may prosecute an action; it makes no difference whether death took place just after birth or just prior to birth. 23 CS 256. Cause of action against a fireman and a municipality under Sec. 7-308 is not limited to a living fireman but extends to his executor or administrator in case he dies; Sec. 7-308 must be read in conjunction with this section. Id., 321. Action to annul a bigamous marriage does not fall within statutory exception and may be brought either in the lifetime of the parties or after the death of one. 26 CS 260. Under statute, former action for alienation of affections survived the death of plaintiff. Id., 356. Damages for antemortem injuries, though required to be claimed in same action as damages for death, do not depend on Sec. 52-555 but on this section, which provides that decedent's cause of action survives to his personal representative; where 1 year period of limitation with respect to those injuries had not expired when decedent died, his personal representative, under Sec. 52-594, had year from date of death to institute action. 28 CS 461. Presumption in favor of survival of causes of action. 29 CS 465. Death of putative father does not defeat or render useless a paternity action. 38 CS 91.

Where no executor or administrator was substituted for deceased plaintiff in appeal by defendant, case was erased from docket. 5 Conn. Cir. Ct. 121.

Subsec. (b):

Court was not persuaded that amendment was intended to abolish long-standing judicial discretion to allow substitution of a fiduciary at any time upon showing of good cause. 46 CA 150. Trial court properly exercised its discretion by dismissing action for failure to prosecute action where the representative of the deceased original plaintiff delayed more than 4 years in substituting herself as the party plaintiff and gave no justification for the delay. 159 CA 584.

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