Kirkland v. Montagna
If a plaintiff requests a continuance of the date of trial, the court grants the plaintiff's request, and the plaintiff files an offer of compromise, the plaintiff's offer of compromise is filed timely, if filed 30 days prior to the new trial date. In August 2008, the plaintiff, Carlos Kirkland, allegedly was injured in a motor-vehicle accident with an ambulance owned by the defendant, American Medical Response, and driven by the defendant, Kevin Montagna, on Interstate 91. On Jan. 8, 2013, approximately one week prior to trial, the plaintiff requested a continuance of four months, because he was concerned about keeping his job, if he took time off to attend the trial. The court rescheduled the plaintiff's trial to May 2013, without objection from the defendants. On Jan. 17, 2013, the plaintiff filed an offer of compromise. The defendants objected that the plaintiff's offer of compromise was not filed timely, within 30 days prior to Jan. 15, 2013, when the trial was originally scheduled. The defendants argued that the plaintiff's offer of compromise was filed late and that prejudiced the defendants. Connecticut General Statutes §52-190a provides, "[T]he plaintiff may . . . not later than thirty days before trial, file . . . a written offer of compromise." The court found that the plaintiff's offer of compromise was filed timely, 30 days prior to the new trial date in May 2013. "The language of the statute," wrote the court, "does not limit the filing to thirty days prior to an initial trial date." Also, the defendants failed to provide any evidence of prejudice. The court overruled the defendants' objection to the plaintiff's offer of compromise.