Motion for Directed Verdict Granted in Apparent Agency Case

by Eric Stockman and Sandy Roussas

June 22, 2017

After three weeks of trial, Eric Stockman and Sandy Roussas recently won a defense verdict on behalf of Lawrence & Memorial Hospital. The case, Porucznik v. Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, et al., was one of a series of novel product liability cases now pending in Waterbury Superior Court involving the implantation of mesh devices for female incontinence. In this case, Lawrence & Memorial Hospital was alleged to have been responsible for the conduct of a local physician who used mesh in a surgery on the plaintiff. The theory of recovery was one of “apparent agency”, a newly created cause of action by the Connecticut Supreme Court. The theory of apparent agency was set forth by the Connecticut Supreme Court in the landmark case of Cefaratti v. Aranow. Under Cefaratti, a hospital may be liable for the conduct of a non-employee, based on certain factors. Attorneys Stockman and Roussas proved that none of the Cefaratti factors were met by the facts in Porucznik. Once plaintiff rested her case, Attorneys Stockman and Roussas won a “Directed Verdict” from the judge, who decided as a matter of law that the defense should prevail.