Elliot v. Ferguson
In Elliot v. Ferguson, 158 Conn. 553, 264 A.2d 556 (1969), the plaintiff brought two causes of action sounding in negligence against a defendant child and the child's parents. Id., 554. In the first count, the plaintiff claimed that the defendant child negligently had kindled a fire in the plaintiff's home. Id.
In the second count, the plaintiff claimed that the parents negligently had failed to maintain control of their child. Id. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff, and against the child, on the first count. Id. The court accepted and recorded the verdict. Id.
The jury, however, failed to return a verdict with respect to the child's parents. Id. Nevertheless, the court rendered judgment for the parents on the second count. Id.
On appeal, our Supreme Court held that the trial court had given inadequate jury instructions concerning the verdict forms. Id., 555. Consequently, the court concluded that "the jury's failure to render a verdict for or against the parents cannot be interpreted in any manner other than a failure to find on one of the material issues of the case." Id.