McNeff v. Vinco, Inc., (AC 19256)

CourtAppellate Court of Connecticut
Citation59 Conn. App. 698,757 A.2d 685
Decision Date05 September 2000
Docket Number(AC 19256)
PartiesTHOMAS MCNEFF ET AL. v. VINCO, INC., ET AL.

59 Conn. App. 698
757 A.2d 685

THOMAS MCNEFF ET AL.
v.
VINCO, INC., ET AL

(AC 19256)

Appellate Court of Connecticut.

Argued June 9, 2000.

Officially released September 5, 2000.


Spear, Pellegrino and Peters, JS.

59 Conn. App. 699
Ruth Beardsley, for the appellant (named defendant-third party plaintiff)

Kenneth J. Mulvey, Jr., for the appellee (third party defendant).

Opinion

PELLEGRINO, J.

The third party plaintiff, Vinco, Inc. (Vinco), appeals from the judgment rendered in favor of the third party defendant, Hilton Mechanical Contractors, Inc. (Hilton), in a claim arising from a work-related injury. Vinco claims that the trial court improperly (1) sustained objections to certain exhibits, (2) directed a verdict in favor of Hilton and (3) denied its motion to set aside the verdict in favor of Hilton. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

The following facts and procedural history are relevant to our resolution of this appeal. In December, 1991, Thomas McNeff, an employee of Hilton, suffered personal injuries when he fell at a construction site known as the Norwalk Community College project (project). Vinco was the project's general contractor and Hilton was a mechanical subcontractor.

The accident occurred as McNeff exited a mechanical platform located at the project. Hilton had installed some equipment on the platform, which McNeff was working on prior to the accident, but Hilton did not design or construct the platform itself, nor did it construct walls on the platform.

The plaintiffs, McNeff and his wife, subsequently filed an action against the defendants, Vinco, Ames and Whitaker, P.C. (Ames), the architect of the project, and

59 Conn. App. 700
Turner Construction Company (Turner), the project's construction manager, claiming that their negligence proximately caused the accident. Hilton filed an intervening complaint, seeking to recover workers' compensation payments made to its employee, McNeff. Vinco filed a third party complaint against Hilton claiming that Hilton did not properly supervise the work done and the equipment used by its employees and that, under its subcontract, Hilton was responsible for indemnifying Vinco. Ames filed a counterclaim against Hilton for indemnification.1

On December 2, 1998, the trial court granted Hilton's motion for a directed verdict on Vinco's claim for indemnification. The plaintiffs obtained a judgment against Vinco following a jury trial.

Vinco filed a motion to set aside the verdict against it, which was denied by the trial court. The present appeal concerns only the directed verdict in favor of Hilton on Vinco's third party complaint. Additional facts will be discussed where relevant to the issues on appeal.

I

Vinco claims first that the trial court improperly sustained objections, on relevancy grounds, by Hilton and the plaintiffs to certain of Vinco's business records. We disagree.

The following additional facts are relevant to these claims. Prior to the accident, McNeff complained orally to Hilton that the working conditions on the platform were unsafe, and Hilton agreed that the ingress to and egress from the platform were dangerous. The exhibits Vinco sought to introduce concerned written complaints

59 Conn. App. 701
made by a subcontractor, C & H Electric, Inc. (C & H), to Vinco, concerning unsafe conditions at the construction project. C & H was not a party to this litigation, and none of the conditions complained of concerned the area at issue here. Vinco claims, nevertheless, that the exhibits were relevant because they demonstrated how Hilton could have complained more effectively about the unsafe conditions on the platform

Our standard of review regarding challenges to a trial court's evidentiary rulings is that "[t]he trial court has broad discretion in ruling on the admissibility of evidence.... The determination of the relevancy and remoteness of evidence is within the sound discretion of the trial court.... The trial court's ruling on...

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10 cases
  • Burton v. City of Stamford, 28309.
    • United States
    • Appellate Court of Connecticut
    • 9 Junio 2009
    ...reasonable inferences, in the light most favorable to the plaintiff." (Internal quotation marks omitted.) McNeff v. Vinco, Inc., 59 Conn.App. 698, 702, 757 A.2d 685 (2000). "Although it is the jury's right to draw logical deductions and make reasonable inferences from the facts proven ... i......
  • Dinardo Seaside Tower, Ltd. v. Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.
    • United States
    • Appellate Court of Connecticut
    • 23 Septiembre 2014
    ...overturned only upon a showing of a clear abuse of the court's discretion.” (Internal quotation marks omitted.) McNeff v. Vinco, Inc., 59 Conn.App. 698, 701, 757 A.2d 685 (2000). We also note that “[a] photograph offered to prove the appearance of ... [something] which cannot itself be insp......
  • Dinardo Seaside Tower, Ltd. v. Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.
    • United States
    • Appellate Court of Connecticut
    • 23 Septiembre 2014
    ...overturned only upon a showing of a clear abuse of the court's discretion." (Internal quotation marks omitted.) McNeff v. Vinco, Inc., 59 Conn. App. 698, 701, 757 A.2d 685 (2000). We also note that "[a] photograph offered to prove the appearance of . . . [something] which cannot itself be i......
  • Harewood v. Carter, (AC 20202)
    • United States
    • Appellate Court of Connecticut
    • 1 Mayo 2001
    ...weigh both direct and circumstantial evidence, including all reasonable inferences to be drawn therefrom. See McNeff v. Vinco, Inc., 59 Conn. App. 698, 702, 757 A.2d 685 (2000). The jury reasonably and logically could have found that the defendant operated a motor vehicle while impaired by ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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