Trosan v. Velky
Only under the most compelling circumstances may the court set aside the jury verdict because to do so interferes with a litigant's constitutional right in appropriate cases to have the issues of fact decided by a jury," pursuant to Hunte v. Amica Mutual Insurance Co., a 2002 decision of the Connecticut Appellate Court. In July 2009, the defendant, who was using a cane, because she was recovering from a hip operation, went to a restaurant with friends, all of whom were in their 70s. Allegedly, the defendant lost her balance, attempted to stay upright with the assistance of the lady next to her, and fell backward. There was conflicting evidence about whether the defendant fell on the plaintiff and which hand the defendant used to hold her cane. The plaintiff, who broke her hip, sued the defendant and alleged that the defendant was negligent, because the defendant should have used a walker, as opposed to a cane, or the defendant should have held and positioned her cane in a different manner. A jury returned a verdict for the defendant, and the plaintiff moved to set aside the verdict. Here, the court properly instructed the jury that the defendant was required to use the care that an ordinarily prudent person would use in the same circumstances. The jury was not compelled to find that the defendant was negligent, because of the way she held the cane, or that the defendant's negligence, if any, proximately caused the plaintiff's injury. The court denied the plaintiff's motion to set aside the verdict.