As articulated by the United States Supreme Court, the government contractor defense provides that “[l]iability for design defects in military equipment cannot be imposed, pursuant to state law, when (1) the United States approved reasonably precise specifications; (2) the equipment conformed to those specifications; and (3) the supplier warned the United States about the dangers in the use of the equipment that were known to the supplier but not to the United States.” Boyle v. United Techs. Corp., 487 U.S. 500, 512 (U.S. 1988). The Connecticut Supreme Court recognized the government contractor defense in Miller v. United Technologies Corp., 233 Conn. 732 (Conn. 1995). Nonetheless, a Connecticut Superior Court has just refused to apply the government contractor defense to a claim arising out of a road reconstruction project.
In Fox v. Town of Stratford, 2012 Conn. Super. LEXIS 1443 (Conn. Super. Ct. June 1, 2012), the plaintiff alleged that his property was damaged by flooding caused by a road reconstruction project. The contractor asserted that, under the authority of Miller and Boyle, it cannot be held liable for plaintiff’s alleged damages because it strictly complied with the government’s plans and specifications.