A "unity of interest" exists for the purposes of peremptory challenges, if the interests of several plaintiffs or of several defendants are substantially similar. On Sept. 22, 2006, the plaintiff, Ralph Pirreca, underwent surgery on his left rotator cuff and shoulder at Fairfield Surgery Center LLC. The defendant, Dr. Vladimir Koltchine, who worked for Connecticut Anesthesia of Fairfield LLC, allegedly provided the anesthesia. The plaintiff's complaint alleged that his left phrenic nerve was injured as a result of the surgery and that the defendant anesthesiologist placed the needle in the wrong location and failed to properly monitor the plaintiff during the operation. The plaintiff sued and requested that the court find that a "unity of interest" exists among Dr. Koltchine, Connecticut Anesthesia of Fairfield and the Fairfield Surgery Center. Connecticut General Statutes §51-241 provides, "Where the court determines a unity of interest exists, several plaintiffs or several defendants may be considered as a single party for the purpose of making challenges, or the court may allow additional peremptory challenges and permit them to be exercised separately or jointly." The court found that the plaintiff failed to establish that the interests of Dr. Koltchine, Connecticut Anesthesia and the Fairfield Surgery Center are substantially similar. The court intends to grant the plaintiffs 10 peremptory challenges; to grant Dr. Koltchine and Connecticut Anesthesia five peremptory challenges; and to grant Fairfield Surgery Center five peremptory challenges.

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