Laffin v. Apalucci

Decision Date06 March 1942
Citation25 A.2d 60,128 Conn. 654
CourtConnecticut Supreme Court
PartiesLAFFIN v. APALUCCI et al.

Appeal from Court of Common Pleas of Waterbury; Pickett, Judge.

Action to recover damages for personal injuries by Charles Laffin against Nicholas Apalucci and others, alleged to have been caused by an assault and battery by the defendants upon the plaintiff. Verdict and judgment for the plaintiff and appeal by the defendants.

Error and new trial ordered.


William B. Hennessy and John F. Tobin, both of Waterbury, for appellants.

Andrew D. Dawson, of Waterbury, for appellee.

ELLS, Judge.

The plaintiff alleged in his complaint that he was the victim of an unprovoked assault committed by the defendant Sacco, a bartender in a restaurant and grill operated by the defendants Apalucci and Lucian; that the assault was made in an attempt by Sacco to collect for drinks served to the plaintiff, and that Sacco was at the time of the assault the servant and agent of the proprietors, acting within the scope of the employment. The defendants' answer was a denial and a special defense that the plaintiff assaulted Sacco, who in self-defense necessarily beat the plaintiff slightly, doing him no unnecessary harm.

The plaintiff's claims of proof, as contained in the finding, are these: He entered the grill and asked Apalucci to serve drinks to be paid for later in the evening; Apalucci assented and served the drinks; Sacco, who had just come on duty, called the plaintiff names and stated that he would make him pay for the liquor. One of these threats was made in the presence of Apalucci, who soon left the premises, and neither he nor Lucian were present when ensuing events occurred. The plaintiff consumed his drink, and went to a toilet located in the barroom. As he emerged, Sacco struck him and broke his nose. Sacco was then in charge of the premises, was engaged in his employers' business, and was acting as their agent within the scope of the employment. The defendants' claims were that Apalucci left as the plaintiff entered, and did not talk to him, or serve drinks to him. The plaintiff was drunk and abusive, and asked Sacco to serve liquor. Sacco refused and walked into a separate room used as a restaurant. The plaintiff followed, seized him and struck him. Sacco, endeavoring to free himself, and in the process of the scuffle, struck the plaintiff, using no more force than seemed reasonably necessary. The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff against all the defendants. They appealed, alleging error in the charge.

The defendants complain because the trial court, after briefly stating the correct principle of law in the language contained in Son v. Hartford Ice Cream Co., 102 Conn. 696, 699, 129 A. 778, as to the liability of a master for the tort of his servant, proceeded to state: "I think it is claimed by the plaintiff and I think conceded by the defendants that at all times during the course of events that evening, Sacco was acting in the interests of his employers, and within the scope of his employment and, therefore, in this case all of the defendants are liable, or none of them are liable, according as you find the facts." The defendants contend it was not conceded that Sacco was acting "within the scope of his authority," and that this question was an important issue in the case as tried. There is nothing in the record to show that the trial court was in error in the statement it made. The evidence is not before us. The finding shows that the plaintiff claimed Sacco was acting within the scope of his employment. The defendants' claims of proof do not indicate that they claimed the contrary, and it fairly appears that their principal claim was self-defense. They made no request to charge on the question of agency. It is of some significance that they made no...

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9 cases
  • Kos v. Lawrence + Mem'l Hosp.
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • March 10, 2020
    ...v. Torrence , supra, at 437–38, 493 A.2d 865 ; Velardi v. Selwitz , 165 Conn. 635, 640–41, 345 A.2d 527 (1974) ; Laffin v. Apalucci , 128 Conn. 654, 658, 25 A.2d 60 (1942) ; or by repetition of the improper charge. See State v. Flowers , 278 Conn. 533, 542–43, 898 A.2d 789 (2006) (twice rep......
  • Brown v. Robishaw
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • June 5, 2007
    ...of the case. Here, the real issues were an assault without justifiable excuse, or one committed in self-defense." Laffin v. Apalucci, 128 Conn. 654, 657-58, 25 A.2d 60 (1942). Accordingly, to instruct the jury on the real issues of the case, the court should have charged the jury on self-de......
  • Maciejewska v. Lombard Bros., Inc.
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • May 4, 1976
    ...and to give his view of its weight, is well established in this state, but such comment must be reasonable and fair.' Laffin v. Apalucci, 128 Conn. 654, 657, 25 A.2d 60, 61; Schiesel v. S. Z. Poli Realty Co., 108 Conn. 115, 124, 142 A. 812. The court should discuss the facts in evidence in ......
  • Bruneau v. Quick
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • July 20, 1982
    ...a trial court has not only the right but often the duty to comment upon the evidence; Quednau v. Langrish, supra; Laffin v. Apalucci, 128 Conn. 654, 657, 25 A.2d 60 (1942); Bundy v. Capital National Bank & Trust Co., 124 Conn. 309, 314, 199 A. 561 (1938); it is not licensed to "indulge in a......
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