TEAGHAN MAHONEY ET AL.
LORI STORCH SMITH ET AL.
February 3, 2017
to recover damages for the named defendant's alleged
medical negligence, brought to the Superior Court in the
judicial district of Fairfield and tried to the jury before
Hon. William B. Rush, judge trial referee; verdict
for the defendants; thereafter, the court denied the
plaintiffs' motion to set aside the verdict and rendered
judgment in accordance with the verdict, from which the
plaintiffs appealed to this court; subsequently, the court,
Hon. William B. Rush, judge trial referee, granted
the plaintiffs' motion for rectification.
from Superior Court, judicial district of Fairfield, Hon.
William B. Rush, judge trial referee
Scott Pickel, with whom, on the brief, was Anthony
Cenatiempo, for the appellants (plaintiffs).
Michael R. McPherson, for the appellees (defendants).
Sheldon, Keller and Prescott, Js.
plaintiffs sought to recover damages, both individually and
on behalf of their minor child for medical malpractice from
the defendants, S, a pediatrician who performed a
circumcision on the child, and the professional corporation
in which S practiced. The plaintiffs alleged that S was
negligent in performing the procedure, during which she used
a device called a Mogen clamp to perform the circumcision.
The procedure resulted in the amputation of a portion of the
glans of C's penis. During the trial, the defendants'
counsel offered a video that depicted a circumcision using
the Mogen clamp in order to assist the jury in understanding
how a circumcision is performed using that device. After
excusing the jury, the court watched the video and heard
arguments as to its admissibility. The plaintiffs'
attorney argued that the video should not be shown to the
jury because it was not previously produced for the
plaintiffs, because it would confuse the jury, and because
the defendants' expert, a pediatrician who testified that
the video accurately depicted a circumcision procedure and
that the video would assist the jury, did not rely on the
video in forming his opinion. The court ruled that the video
was admissible as demonstrative evidence. When trial resumed,
the defendants' expert testified that the video did not
depict the actual circumcision that S performed on C. The
court then permitted the video to be shown for demonstrative
purposes only. The video, which depicted the entirety of a
Mogen circumcision procedure and had no sound, was shown
tothe jury, and the defendants' expert narrated the
events depicted in the video. After the trial ended, the jury
returned a verdict for the defendants, and the plaintiffs
subsequently filed a motion to set aside the verdict and for
a new trial on the basis of the court's decision to
permit the showing of the video. Thereafter, the trial court
denied the plaintiffs' motion to set aside the verdict
and for a new trial, and the plaintiffs appealed to this
1. This court declined to review the merits of the
plaintiffs' claims that the defendants' use of the
video violated the relevant rules of practice (§§
13-4, 13-15) regarding disclosure of experts and the
continuing duty to disclose, because the video and related
testimony from the defendants' expert were not disclosed,
and that the video and the related expert testimony were
irrelevant and unduly cumulative; the plaintiffs did not
distinctly raise those claims in connection with their motion
to set aside the verdict and for a new trial.
2. There was no merit to the plaintiffs' claim that the
video, and testimony of the defendants' expert concerning
it, were prejudicial and confusing to the jury because the
portions of the video showing the patient receiving
anesthesia and the physician applying clamps used to control
bleeding were aspects of the procedure that were not at issue
in the trial; it was not apparent to this court how those
parts of the video would confuse the jury, and the court
concluded that those parts of the video likely clarified the
earlier direct testimony of the plaintiffs' expert
witness regarding the use of anesthesia and the clamps;
furthermore, the plaintiffs' claim that the video was
prejudicial because they were precluded from responding to it
was unavailing, because, prior to trial, the defendants
provided the plaintiffs with an exhibit list that identified
the video, and the plaintiffs did not request to watch the
video prior to its introduction at trial, nor did they choose
to file a motion in limine seeking to preclude its admission
into evidence, move for a continuance after it was marked for
identification, or recall their expert witness to serve as a
rebuttal witness concerning the video.
3. The trial court properly rejected the plaintiffs'
claim that it improperly denied their motion to set aside the
verdict and for a new trial because the court did not
instruct the jury that the video was for demonstrative
purposes only: the purpose of the video, which was to show to
the jury how a circumcision is performed utilizing a Mogen
clamp, would have been readily apparent to the jury;
moreover, the plaintiffs having failed to comply with the
prerequisites to appellate review of their allegation of
instructional impropriety because they did not raise this
claim at the time the trial court instructed the jury, this
court could not say that the trial court abused its
discretion in denying the plaintiffs' motion.
4. This court declined to review the plaintiffs' claim,
raised for the first time on appeal, that the trial court
abused its discretion by allegedly discouraging the jury from
rehearing the expert medical testimony during deliberation:
this claim was unpreserved because the plaintiffs, at the
time of trial, did not object to the manner in which the
trial court responded to the jury's playback request.
appeal arises from a medical malpractice action brought by
the plaintiffs, Thomas and Roxanne Mahoney, both individually
and on behalf of their minor child, Teaghan Mahoney (child),
against the defendants, Lori Storch Smith and Bay Street
Pediatrics, the professional corporation in which Dr. Storch
Smith practiced. The plaintiffs alleged that Dr. Storch Smith
was negligent in performing a circumcision on the child, who
was a newborn at the time. The procedure resulted in the
amputation of a portion of the glans-or head- of the
child's penis. Following a trial, the jury returned a
verdict for the defendants. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim
that the trial court abused its discretion by (1) declining
to set aside the verdict and order a new trial, and (2)
discouraging the jury from rehearing expert ...