Salaman v. Waterbury

In Salaman v. Waterbury, 44 Conn. App. 211, 687 A.2d 1318 (1997), rev'd, 246 Conn. 298, 717 A.2d 161 (1998), the plaintiff, the administrator of the decedent's estate, relied on premises liability as one of his theories of negligence against the city of Waterbury, claiming that the city was liable for the decedent's drowning in a city owned reservoir. Id. at 212-13. At the close of trial, the court instructed the jury on the applicable principles of premises liability. Id. at 213. In its charge, the court explained that if the jury found that the plaintiff's decedent was a licensee, then the city owed him a duty of care. Id. at 213-14. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff, and the court granted the city's motion to set aside the verdict and for judgment notwithstanding the verdict after concluding that the evidence was insufficient to impose liability on the city even if the jury had concluded that the plaintiff's decedent was a licensee. Id. at 214. The Court reversed the judgment of the trial court, concluding that it was improper for the court to set aside the verdict because the evidence was sufficient to establish that the city had constructive knowledge of the decedent's presence on its property and, consequently, that he was a licensee. Id. at 217-18.