Appeals

Attorney Foley has successfully argued appeals to both the Appellate Court of the State of Connecticut and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which is located in New York, New York.

Brief summaries of two appeals which have been successfully argued by Attorney Foley are as follows:

Orlando Soto, Conservator of the Estate of Israel Soto v. Chief of Police Joseph Gaudette, et al, 862 F.3d 148 (2nd Cir. 2017)

This case arose out of an appeal that was taken by the defendants, Officer Martin Heanue, Officer Damien Csech, Officer Chris Robinson, Sergeant Christopher Stepniewski and the City of Bridgeport, following a ruling by the U.S. District Court, Eginton, J., denying, in part, the defendants’ motion for summary judgment on the issue of qualified immunity. The underlying case involved a chase by the Bridgeport police of a car in which Israel Soto was an occupant. During the course of the police chase, Mr. Soto got out of the vehicle at Seaside Park in Bridgeport and was running on Waldemere Street when he was struck by a police cruiser operated by Officer Chris Robinson and then tased by Officer Damien Csech, causing him to fall to the ground. As Israel Soto attempted to get up from a push-up position, he was tased twice more, simultaneously, by tasers deployed by Officer Chris Robinson and Sergeant Christopher Stepniewski. It was the plaintiff’s position that as a result of the actions of the defendants, Israel Soto sustained a permanent, severely debilitating, catastrophic traumatic brain injury, requiring him to be confined to a convalescent home where he receives 24/7 care. On appeal, the Second Circuit Court ruled that the District Court erred in denying summary judgment as to Officer Csech for his taser deployment, but dismissed the appeals of the other defendants for lack of appellate jurisdiction. The case was then sent back to the District Court where it was assigned for trial.

Naughton v. Hager, 29 Conn. App. 181 (Conn. App. 1992)

Attorney Foley represented the plaintiff who was the owner of a typographic and graphic arts business who instituted suit against the defendant, Alan Hager, a coin dealer, as a result of the defendant’s gross misrepresentation of the grading and value of the coins that he had given to the plaintiff as part of a barter transaction for typographic services that were provided by the plaintiff. Attorney Foley took the case to trial and recovered a plaintiff’s verdict, including punitive damages, in the amount of $80,000.00. The defendant appealed on several grounds to the Appellate Court, wherein he claimed that the verdict was contrary to the evidence and that the court erred in refusing to set aside the verdict on the second, third and fourth counts of the complaint. Defendant also argued that the $80,000.00 verdict was excessive, but the plaintiff had introduced evidence that reasonably could have supported a verdict as large as $135,561.00. The Appellate Court held, based upon the testimony of the plaintiff and his expert, that when viewed in light most favorable in supporting the verdict, the size of the jury verdict did not so shock the conscience as to compel a reviewing court’s conclusion that it was due to partiality, prejudice or mistake.

The defendant also argued that the trial court improperly denied his motion for a mistrial at the conclusion of opening statements. The Appellate Court ruled that considering the totality of the circumstances concerning this claim, the defendant was afforded a fair trial and, accordingly, it would not disturb the trial court’s denial of defendant’s motion for a mistrial.

Finally, the defendant also argued that the jury charge pertaining to prior complaints against him was incorrect and rendered the charge unfairly prejudicial to him. The Appellate Court held that the record was replete with evidence from which a jury could reasonably have concluded that there had been prior complaints of overgrading of coins against the defendant. The Appellate Court further pointed out that most of the evidence on this point was introduced by defendant’s own counsel or on cross-examination by the plaintiff’s counsel without objection. The court held the charge in its entirety presented the case fairly to the jury such that no injustice was done. The Appellate Court then affirmed the judgment of the trial court which had denied the defendant’s motion to set aside the verdict.

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