BRANDON V. SMITH
TOWN OF REDDING ET AL.
May 30, 2017
Reynolds Gordon, with whom was Frank A. DeNi-cola, Jr., for
the appellant (plaintiff).
R. Gerarde, with whom was Emily E. Holland, for the appellee
Sheldon, Mullins and Sullivan, Js.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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. 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 ...