Hennessey v. Bristol Hospital

In Hennessey v. Bristol Hospital, 225 Conn. 700, 626 A.2d 702 (1993), the commissioner of health services sought to intervene in a case brought by the plaintiff physician against the defendant hospital. The plaintiff brought an action for an injunction to restrain the defendant from complying with a subpoena issued by the commissioner for records involving the plaintiff pursuant to an investigation of the physician. The plaintiff got a temporary injunction without notifying the commissioner, the would-be intervenor. The commissioner claimed that she was a necessary party, had a direct interest in the production that was adverse to the plaintiff and that she would be affected by a judgment restraining the disclosure. The court held that the motion to intervene should have been granted because the intervenor had an interest that the judgment affected. The court reasoned that although the commissioner had brought a separate action for enforcement of her subpoena, that action was not necessarily sufficient to protect her interest because if she prevailed in that action and could therefore enforce the subpoena, there could be a conflicting injunction issued by another court from which she could not appeal. Id., 704.