Fain v. Benak

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*********************************************** The “officially released” date that appears near the be- ginning of each opinion is the date the opinion will be pub- lished in the Connecticut Law Journal or the date it was released as a slip opinion. The operative date for the be- ginning of all time periods for filing postopinion motions and petitions for certification is the “officially released” date appearing in the opinion. All opinions are subject to modification and technical correction prior to official publication in the Connecticut Reports and Connecticut Appellate Reports. In the event of discrepancies between the advance release version of an opinion and the latest version appearing in the Connecticut Law Journal and subsequently in the Connecticut Reports or Connecticut Appellate Reports, the latest version is to be considered authoritative. The syllabus and procedural history accompanying the opinion as it appears in the Connecticut Law Journal and bound volumes of official reports are copyrighted by the Secretary of the State, State of Connecticut, and may not be reproduced and distributed without the express written permission of the Commission on Official Legal Publica- tions, Judicial Branch, State of Connecticut. *********************************************** MARIE FAIN v. BETHANY BENAK ET AL. (AC 43898) Alvord, Cradle and Eveleigh, Js. Syllabus The plaintiff sought to recover damages for personal injuries that she sus- tained when her vehicle was struck by a vehicle driven by the defendant B, an employee of the defendant Department of Administrative Services. The plaintiff alleged that her injuries were the result of B’s negligence. Following a trial to the court, the court rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiff and awarded damages. The plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration as to her claimed future medical expenses, and attached to that motion a letter from her treating physician, G, which had been admitted as a full exhibit at trial. The letter stated that it was more probable than not that the plaintiff would require future medical treat- ment. The court granted the plaintiff’s motion, awarded additional dam- ages, and the defendant Department of Administrative Services appealed to this court. Held: 1. The defendant Department of Administrative Services could not prevail on its claim that the trial court erred in declining to apply the unavoidable accident doctrine, which was based on its claim that B was not negligent because she experienced a sudden emergency caused by the blowout of her left front tire: because the court found that B was negligent and caused the collision with the plaintiff’s vehicle, the accident could not be considered unavoidable as a matter of law; the court determined that B was negligent in the way in which she operated the vehicle and that her actions were the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries, and, because these findings were inapposite to a determination that the record could support a finding that the negligence of neither party was involved, the court correctly determined that its finding of negligence necessarily precluded a finding that the accident was unavoidable. 2. The trial court did not …

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