Connecticut Appellate Court Affirms Defense Verdict In Medical Malpractice Case
In a September 19, 2017, decision, the Appellate Court of Connecticut unanimously affirmed a defense verdict obtained by Madonna A. Sacco, Matthew M. Sconziano, and Keith M. Blumenstock against a plaintiff represented by Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder in a medical malpractice case, which followed a jury trial that spanned more than three months. The plaintiff claimed that employees of the defendant medical practice had failed to diagnose and treat a fourth degree obstetrical laceration following the delivery of the plaintiff’s child. Given the plaintiff’s allegations, the primary dispute between the parties was whether a fourth degree obstetrical laceration existed at the time of delivery. Therefore, the jury was presented with an interrogatory that queried whether the plaintiff had, in fact, proven that a fourth degree laceration existed at the time of delivery. The jury answered the interrogatory in the negative and returned a verdict for the defendant.
The plaintiff appealed, arguing that the trial court abused its discretion in giving the interrogatory concerning the existence of a fourth degree laceration at the time of delivery. In a responsive brief drafted by David J. Robertson and Christopher H. Blau, the defendant argued that the trial court appropriately exercised its discretion in presenting the interrogatory given the narrow factual dispute between the parties. Following oral argument by plaintiff’s counsel and Attorney Robertson, the Appellate Court issued a unanimous decision affirming the trial court’s actions and the defense verdict. The three judge panel did not find the plaintiff’s appellate arguments convincing, concluding that “[b]ecause it is clear from the plaintiff’s complaint, the evidence elicited at trial, and the plaintiff’s arguments that the case revolved around the existence of a fourth degree laceration … it was within the court’s discretion to submit this interrogatory to the jury, asking it to determine first whether it found that the plaintiff sustained such an injury.”
This successful appellate result affirming the jury’s defense verdict is the latest chapter in a lengthy litigation that involved earlier appeals to the Connecticut Appellate Court and Supreme Court as well as multiple weeks of jury selection and more than three months of trial. The Appellate Court’s recent decision also confirms that Heidell, Pittoni, Murphy & Bach, LLP is ready and able to successfully defend serious medical malpractice claims at trial and on appeal against the most experienced plaintiffs’ firms in Connecticut.