Megin v. Carney

Decision Date31 January 1961
Citation167 A.2d 855,148 Conn. 130
CourtConnecticut Supreme Court
PartiesRalph MEGIN v. James CARNEY. Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut

Alexander Winnick, New Haven, for appellant (plaintiff).

Ralph C. Dixon, Hartford, with whom was Raymond B. Green, Hartford, for appellee (defendant).

Before BALDWIN, C. J., and KING, MURPHY, MELLITZ and SHEA, JJ.

MURPHY, Associate Justice.

The plaintiff has appealed from a judgment rendered upon a verdict for the defendant in an action of malpractice. Four of the assignments of error have been briefed and argued. Three of them concern claimed errors in the charge to the jury. The fourth pertains to a ruling upon evidence. Other assignments of error are treated as abandoned. State v. Ferraiuolo, 145 Conn. 458, 459, 144 A.2d 41.

In his request for a finding, the plaintiff did not state distinctly, in accordance with our rules and practice, the questios of law which he desired to have reviewed, but instead questioned whether the court erred in charging the jury as stated in 133 paragraphs of the draft finding, and whether it erred in one ruling on evidence. The part of the draft finding referred to contained the entire charge. The trial court, in wisely exercising discretion, refrained from including the entire charge in the finding, but even the elimination of those portions which could not possibly furnish any reason for appeal did not materially lessen the needless burden which was imposed upon the court. The result was a finding in which forty-one paragraphs are devoted to the charge. In his assignments of error, the plaintiff states that the court erred in thirty-four of these paragraphs. In his brief, he culls out a sentence in each of two paragraphs of the charge, and two words in another paragraph, as being erroneous. As a result of the manner in which the plaintiff has processed his appeal, the finding is unnecessarily long and contains considerable matter irrelevant either to the three portions of the charge attacked or to the ruling on evidence. In Maggi v. Mendillo, 147 Conn. 663, 668, 165 A.2d 603, we criticized and condemned a similar practice. Had the appellee in the instant case, the defendant, pressed the point in his brief, we would have been constrained to disrgeard the claimed errors in the charge.

The two separate sentences which are claimed to be erroneous occur in two successive paragraphs of the charge. As the first sentence of the first of these two paragraphs, the court said: 'Even the fact that the unfortunate result might have been avoided does not render a dentist liable, provided he used due care, skill and diligence of a dentist generally in the same community.' As the final sentence of the following paragraph, it said: 'A dentist who is unable or unwilling to assume or continue the treatment of a case, and recommends another dentist is not liable for injuries resulting from the latter's want of skill or care, unless he did not exercise due care in making the recommendation or substitution.' Each of the quoted sentences relates to the standard of care required of a dentist in the treatment and aftercare of a patient whose tooth is extracted. In the charge preceding these two paragraphs, the court had thrice stated correctly the rule governing the measure of duty owed by the defendant to the plaintiff. After the two paragraphs, the court again reiterated the rule three more times. A charge must be read and considered in its entirety; Salvatore v. Hayden, 144 Conn. 437, 442, 133 A.2d 622; and not by...

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14 cases
  • Novella v. Hartford Acc. & Indem. Co.
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • July 27, 1972
    ...A.2d 446; State v. Whiteside, 148 Conn. 208, 217, 169 A.2d 260, cert. denied, 368 U.S. 830, 82 S.Ct. 52, 7 L.Ed.2d 33; Megin v. Carney, 148 Conn. 130, 134, 167 A.2d 855; Casalo v. Claro, supra. 'All this is but an obvious application of the fundamental rule of appellate procedure in the rev......
  • Krattenstein v. Thomas
    • United States
    • Connecticut Court of Appeals
    • June 10, 1986
    ...of the charge as a whole, we conclude that the erroneous instruction could not have misled or confused the jury. See Megin v. Carney, 148 Conn. 130, 133, 167 A.2d 855 (1961); Sleavin v. Greenwich Gynecology & Obstetrics, P.C., supra, 6 Conn.App. 348, 505 A.2d The plaintiff's second claim of......
  • Sleavin v. Greenwich Gynecology and Obstetrics, P.C.
    • United States
    • Connecticut Court of Appeals
    • March 4, 1986
    ...The erroneous bona fide error instructions, when read in context could not have misled or confused the jury. Megin v. Carney, 148 Conn. 130, 133, 167 A.2d 855 (1961). We do not review single segments of the charge in isolation of the whole. Moseley v. Hamilton, 2 Conn.App. 680, 682, 483 A.2......
  • Gosselin v. Perry
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • March 12, 1974
    ...under the influence of liquor in the complaint, so that the charge in question is perfectly proper in that respect. See Megin v. Carney, 148 Conn. 130, 133, 167 A.2d 855; Smith v. Housing Authority, 144 Conn. 13, 16, 127 A.2d 45; Johnson v. Whipple, 117 Conn. 599, 602, 169 A. 619; Maltbie, ......
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