Walsh v. Stonington Water Pollution Control Authority

In Walsh v. Stonington Water Pollution Control Authority, 250 Conn. 443, 465, 736 A.2d 811 (1999), the plaintiffs were two married couples who brought an action against the town of Stonington and its water pollution control authority. The plaintiffs were allowed sixteen peremptory challenges to the town's four challenges. Walsh analyzes 51-241 and concludes that "the decision of whether several plaintiffs or defendants will be considered a single party for the purpose of making challenges is, therefore, within the discretion of the trial court." Id., 465. Walsh states that if the court decides there is a unity of interest, the court may, in its discretion, determine whether that unity will trigger a limit on the number of peremptory challenges to be granted. Id., 465-66. In other words, even if there is unity of interest, which would allow a trial court to treat two or more defendants or plaintiffs as one for purposes of peremptory challenges, the court may nevertheless allow each defendant or plaintiff to have the statutory number of challenges.