Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Smith v. Town of Redding

Court of Appeals of Connecticut

October 17, 2017

BRANDON V. SMITH
v.
TOWN OF REDDING ET AL.

          Argued May 30, 2017

          A. Reynolds Gordon, with whom was Frank A. DeNi-cola, Jr., for the appellant (plaintiff).

          Thomas R. Gerarde, with whom was Emily E. Holland, for the appellee (named defendant).

          Sheldon, Mullins and Sullivan, Js.

         Syllabus

         The plaintiff, who had sustained injuries when he fell off of a municipal retaining wall, sought to recover damages for absolute public nuisance, claiming that the defendant town had created a nuisance by causing the retaining wall to be constructed without a fence on top of it, which, in turn, caused his fall and resulting injuries. Prior to trial, the plaintiff filed a motion in limine, seeking a preliminary ruling as to the admissibility of evidence that, subsequent to his fall, the town had constructed a fence on top of the wall and that the Department of Transportation had ordered the installation of the fence. In response, the trial court issued an order ruling that evidence of any subsequent remedial measures as to the retaining wall was inadmissible. Following a trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the town, determining that the plaintiff had failed to prove that the retaining wall was inherently dangerous. Thereafter, the trial court denied the plaintiff's motion to set aside the verdict and rendered judgment in accordance with the verdict, from which the plaintiff appealed to this court.

         Held:

         1. The record was inadequate to review the plaintiff's claim that the trial court abused its discretion by excluding evidence regarding the construction of the fence on the retaining wall after the plaintiff's fall; the plaintiff failed to provide this court with various transcripts of the trial proceedings, and without a complete record of the trial, this court did not know whether the plaintiff presented other evidence that the retaining wall without the fence was inherently dangerous, and could not analyze fully whether the trial court's exclusion of evidence of subsequent remedial measures to the retaining wall had affected the jury's verdict or whether the plaintiff had been harmed by the trial court's ruling.

         2. This court declined to review the plaintiff's claim that the trial court improperly failed to instruct the jury on the town's zoning regulations as a safety standard; the record indicated that the trial court did not address or decide this claim, and, therefore, the plaintiff failed to preserve it for appeal.

         Procedural History

         Action to recover damages for public nuisance, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of Fairfield, where the court, Radcliffe, J., granted the motion to strike filed by the defendant M. Rondano, Inc.; thereafter, the court, Radcliffe, J., granted the motion for summary judgment filed by the defendant BL Companies, Inc.; subsequently, the complaint was withdrawn as to the defendant M. Rondano, Inc.; thereafter, the court, Kamp, J., issued an order regarding the admissibility of certain evidence; subsequently, the court, Kamp, J., denied the plaintiff's motion to reargue; thereafter, the matter was tried to the jury before Kamp, J.; verdict for the named defendant; subsequently, the court, Kamp, J., denied the plaintiff's motion to set aside the verdict and rendered judgment in accordance with the verdict, from which the plaintiff appealed to this court. Affirmed.

          OPINION

          SULLIVAN, J.

         In this absolute public nuisance action, the plaintiff, Brandon V. Smith, appeals following a jury trial from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant town of Redding.[1] On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly failed: (1) to admit evidence of involuntary subsequent remedial measures; and (2) to instruct the jury on the Redding Zoning Regulations. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

         On the basis of the record provided, the jury reasonably could have found the following facts. After consuming alcoholic drinks over the course of an evening at a couple of establishments in Redding, the plaintiff departed the Lumberyard Pub around 2a.m. on September 17, 2011.[2] Departing the pub, the plaintiff walked across the parking lot in front of the pub to the exit onto the street. On the edge of the parking lot was a wooden guardrail and, on the other side of the guardrail, there was a landscaped area atop a retaining wall. The retaining wall began on a plane level with the ground, and the ground then sloped down along the length of the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.