Stern v. Allied Van Lines, Inc

In Stern v. Allied Van Lines, Inc., 246 Conn. 170, 717 A.2d 195 (1998) the Court interpreted the interaction between those two statutes. It stated: "Sections 52-216a and 52-228b complement each other and perform different functions in the overall statutory scheme concerning the resolution of inadequate verdicts through an order of additur." Id., at 183. It held that 52-228b describes what a court must do before it may consider setting aside the verdict; specifically, the statute requires that the court offer the parties an additur. Id., at 182. "This offer provides the opportunity to remedy the inadequate verdict in a way that is acceptable to both parties, without the expense of another trial." Id., at 183. Section 52-216a requires the court to order a new trial if either party rejects the additur "because the initial verdict was necessarily inadequate as a matter of law." Id., at 181. The Court, in analyzing the interplay between 52-228a and 52-228b, concluded that the right to appeal from an order of additur under 52-228a and the right to reject an order of additur under 52-228b were alternative remedies and that the aggrieved party had the right to choose either option. Id. at 180. "The fact that a party may appeal, as 52-228a provides, does not compel the conclusion that the legislature intended such an appeal to be the only recourse available to the plaintiff. To the contrary, we find support for the notion that the legislature sought to provide an aggrieved party with the option either to appeal the additur, or to reject the additur and move to have the verdict set aside and a new trial ordered." Id.