Q: If an attorney states he withdraws allegations from a complaint at trial, does he have to file a new complaint
It depends on whether the defendant was not prejudiced in maintaining its defense, surprised by the plaintiff's proof, or misled by the allegations in the complaint.
Generally, a "plaintiff cannot recover for something that was not specifically set out in [its] complaint." Sampiere v. Zaretsky, 26 Conn. App. 490, 493, 602 A.2d 1037, 1038 (1992). However, Connecticut courts construe pleadings broadly and realistically, rather than narrowly and technically. See Dornfried v. October Twenty-Four, Inc., 230 Conn. 622, 629, 646 A.2d 772 (1994) (quoting Boone v. William W. Backus Hosp., 272 Conn. 551, 559-60, 864 A.2d 1, 10 (2005)). Because the primary purpose of a complaint is to put the court and the defendant on notice of the claims and relief sought by the plaintiff, any "variance" between the facts alleged in the complaint and the evidence adduced at trial will be permitted so long as the variance "does not change the theory of the cause of action and if the [opposing] party . . . was, at all times, in a position to know the true state of the facts." A. v. Giordano Co. v. Am. Diamond Exch., Inc., 31 Conn. App. 163, 168, 623 A.2d 1048, 1051 (1993) (citation omitted).
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