Canning v. Lensink

In Canning v. Lensink, 221 Conn. 346, 603 A.2d 1155 (1992), the Supreme Court of Connecticut adopted the United States Supreme Court's refusal to find a constitutional right to a jury in suits against the government. Specifically, the Canning Court declined to find the right to a jury trial in an action against a state official under the state's wrongful death statute, stating, "We adhere to our conclusion . . . that, because the doctrine of sovereign immunity barred actions against the state prior to the adoption of the state constitution in 1818, there is no constitutional right of jury trial in civil actions based on statutes effectively waiving such immunity in particular situations. Id. at 353, 603 A.2d at 1158." The Canning Court emphasized that statutes waiving sovereign immunity must affirmatively express a right to a jury trial. Id. at 354, 603 A.2d at 1159.