The mission of the Connecticut Judicial Branch is to serve the interests of justice and the public by resolving matters brought before it in a fair, timely, efficient and open manner.

Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

by Roy, Christopher


AC39747 - Robles v. West Avenue Dental, P.C. ("The defendants West Avenue Dental, P.C., and Hrishikesh Gogate appeal from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a jury trial, awarding damages to the plaintiff Andrea Robles, their former employee, for injuries she suffered due to the defendants' negligent supervision of one of her male coworkers, who sexually harassed her at work over an extended period of time. The defendants challenge the judgment on the ground that the verdict on which it was rendered was returned after the court erroneously determined that it could not accept the jury’s original plaintiff’s verdict awarding Robles $0 in damages because that verdict was inherently inconsistent, and, thus, improperly required the jury to conduct further deliberations to resolve the alleged inconsistency instead of accepting the original verdict and rendering judgment on it. The defendants claim on appeal that the court erred in concluding that the jury’s original verdict was inherently inconsistent, and, thus, in refusing to accept and render judgment on that verdict. They argue that an award of $0 in damages was reasonable in this case because the damages claimed by Robles were largely speculative and unproved, and any damages she did prove could have been reduced by the jury under the court's instructions on their special defense of failure to mitigate damages. Finally, the defendants, claiming that the court erred in instructing the jury that it must award Robles at least some damages if it found the defendants liable for negligent supervision, ask this court to restore the original plaintiff's verdict awarding Robles $0 in damages. Robles, in opposition to the defendants' claim, argues principally that the defendants are not entitled to prevail on that claim because they failed to assert it at trial, and, thus, they failed to preserve it for appellate review. In light of the following facts and procedural history, we agree with Robles that the defendants' present claim was not preserved at trial and, thus, that it cannot be reviewed on appeal.")