Munn v. Hotchkiss Sch., No. 14-2410 (2d Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff and her parents filed suit against the Hotchkiss School after plaintiff contracted tick-borne encephalitis on a school-organized trip to China. The jury found the school negligent and awarded plaintiff $41.5 million in damages, $31.5 of which were non-economic damages. Although the court agreed with plaintiffs that there was sufficient evidence for a jury to find plaintiff’s illness foreseeable, the court was unable to determine whether public policy supports imposing a legal duty on the school. Because this case implicates important and unresolved
issues of Connecticut state law and public policy, the court certified two questions to the Connecticut Supreme Court: (1) Does Connecticut public policy support imposing a duty on a school to warn about or protect against the risk of a serious insect‐borne disease when it organizes a trip abroad? (2) If so, does an award of approximately $41.5 million in favor of the plaintiffs, $31.5 million of which are non‐economic damages, warrant remittitur?