Alternative cause upheld by Connecticut Court of Appeals ruling on personal injury claim


The substitute cause doctrine was at the heart of a Connecticut Court of Appeals ruling on Friday that upheld a lower court ruling that the Shoppes in Buckland Hills and the mall’s security arm, AlliedBarton Security Services, were not responsible for injuries to an out-of-service East. A Granby police officer was backed up trying to apprehend suspected shoplifters in the mall parking lot.

In a 3-0 decision Written by Justice Ingrid Moll, the court upheld a jury ruling that the mall and AlliedBarton were not responsible for Constable Charles Allen’s injuries sustained in May 2014.

According to the court summary, Allen attempted to stop a car occupied by suspected shoplifters in the mall parking lot. After Allen leaned toward the car, the driver of the vehicle put the car in reverse and the officer’s face and leg were struck by an open passenger door.

In her complaint, Allen said the mall and security forces were to blame for chasing the suspected suspect from the mall to the parking lot, where she was encountered by the alleged driver of the vehicle, Reshawn Champion.

Allen, who was shopping at the time, said he took action after hearing a radio show about an ongoing crime. The woman, according to the synopsis, was carrying bags and ran diagonally past the officer, who chased her until she got into the vehicle.

In December 2018, a jury found that Champion’s conduct was both intentional or criminal and unpredictable, and therefore was the root cause of the officer’s injuries.

Replacement cause, by definition, is a defense against negligence. A substitute cause means that the actions of a third party intervened and caused the incident.

This is what the jury found in the case, thus claiming that the defendant mall and its security forces were off the hook.

The officer said, among other things, that the court’s charge to the jury on the successor case was “incorrect and prejudicial”. Specifically, the plaintiff argued that the court erred in failing to instruct the jury regarding particular crimes, whether a crime had been committed, or the legal significance of “criminal event”, “according to the summary of the case of the Court of Appeal.

Shortly after Allen sued the mall and its security forces, the defense argued in oral argument that the officer was negligent for “putting himself in a situation without knowing or appreciating the facts. then and there, “according to the court synopsis.

Moll wrote in his 14-page decision: “Once the jury found Champion’s conduct to be a primary cause of the complainant’s injuries, he [jury] has not had the opportunity to review the reasonableness of the Applicant’s conduct or the Applicant’s status as a guest. The agent also alleged, on appeal, that the court wrongly failed to instruct the jury on the duties the mall owners owed to those who visited the property, such as the agent on leave as a guest. , by providing them with a safe environment.

Allen’s representatives were Brignole, Mario Cerame of Bush & Lewis and Timothy Brignole in Hartford. Speaking on behalf of the complainant’s team, Cerame said on Monday “we are disappointed with the decision”. He said the team was “assessing” whether to appeal to the Connecticut Supreme Court.

Eric Niederer and Tyler Humphrey, both of Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker, represented the mall and security company defendants. Both lawyers declined to comment for this article.

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