To Additur or Not to Additur
Every case is important, no matter how small. And the Appellate Court’s decision in Cusano v. Lajoie, 178 Conn. App. 605, (2017), makes clear that generally the jury’s award of damages should stand, even if the trial court would hold differently.
In Cusano, an automobile accident case in which liability was uncontested, the jury awarded the plaintiff his medical expenses but neither lost wages nor noneconomic damages. The trial court instructed the jury properly that this was a possible verdict but that it should review the verdict, which the jury did, returning shortly thereafter with the same verdict. The plaintiff moved for additur. The trial court granted the motion as to noneconomic damages, and added $2,000 to the award. The defendant rejected the additur and appealed.
The Appellate Court reversed, holding that the “jury could have reasonably determined, as it apparently twice did, that the plaintiff had not proven any noneconomic damages for pain and suffering, or damages for lost wages.” Id. at 613-14. Where there is conflicting evidence and credibility issues, the trial court is to assume that the jury did what it intended to in resolving those issues. Where there is room to disagree as to the basis for the award of damages, the jury verdict should stand.
Attorneys Karen L. Dowd and Brendon P. Levesque represented the defendant in this matter.