Champagne-Haire v. Hughes
"The trial court possesses inherent power to set aside a jury verdict [that], in the court's opinion, is against the law or the evidence," pursuant to Auster v. Norwalk United Methodist Church, a 2008 decision of the Connecticut Supreme Court. Allegedly, the defendant, Dorma Hughes, traveled against the traffic and caused a collision with the front of the plaintiff's motor vehicle. The plaintiff sued Hughes, and the defendant insurance company conceded that Hughes was negligent. The plaintiff sought uninsured-motorist coverage from the defendant insurance company. The jury awarded economic damages of $179,943 and non-economic damages of $400,000. The defendant moved to set aside the verdict and argued that the plaintiff failed to properly disclose an expert orthopedic doctor, W. Jay Krompinger. The court found that the defendant withdrew the motion to preclude Dr. Krompinger's testimony, and that the defendant did not object to the testimony of another doctor who relied on Dr. Krompinger's treatment records. The defendant was bound by the concession. The defendant effectively abandoned its argument that the verdict was contrary to the law and the evidence, because it did not provide any substantive legal discussion or legal authority. The court denied the defendant's motion to set aside the verdict. The court denied the plaintiff's motion for interest, because she did not file an offer of compromise and did not accept the defendant's offer of compromise, when the defendant offered to pay the plaintiff $16,000. The court denied the plaintiff's request for attorneys' fees, pursuant to the American rule. The court granted judgment to the plaintiff in the amount of $100,000, which is the policy limit of the uninsured-motorist coverage.