2011 Connecticut Code
Title 14 Motor Vehicles. Use of the Highway By Vehicles. Gasoline
Chapter 248 Vehicle Highway Use
Sec. 14-295. Double or treble damages for personal injury or property damage resulting from certain traffic violations.

      Sec. 14-295. Double or treble damages for personal injury or property damage resulting from certain traffic violations. In any civil action to recover damages resulting from personal injury, wrongful death or damage to property, the trier of fact may award double or treble damages if the injured party has specifically pleaded that another party has deliberately or with reckless disregard operated a motor vehicle in violation of section 14-218a, 14-219, 14-222, 14-227a, 14-230, 14-234, 14-237, 14-239 or 14-240a, and that such violation was a substantial factor in causing such injury, death or damage to property. The owner of a rental or leased motor vehicle shall not be responsible for such damages unless the damages arose from such owner's operation of the motor vehicle.

      (1949 Rev., S. 2492; P.A. 76-435, S. 1, 82; P.A. 77-604, S. 7, 84; P.A. 85-122; P.A. 88-229; P.A. 03-250, S. 2.)

      History: P.A. 76-435 deleted references to repealed Secs. 14-246 and 14-293; P.A. 77-604 replaced reference to Sec. 14-232 with reference to Sec. 14-242; P.A. 85-122 made provisions of section inapplicable to person licensed under Sec. 14-15; P.A. 88-229 entirely replaced prior provisions re the liability for double or treble damages of each person who, by neglecting to conform to any provision of Secs. 14-230 to 14-242, inclusive, or Sec. 14-245 or 14-247, causes injury to the person or property of another if the court, in its discretion, determines that double or treble damages are just with provisions authorizing the trier of fact to award double or treble damages if the injured party has specifically pleaded that another party has deliberately or with reckless disregard operated a motor vehicle in violation of certain enumerated statutes and that such violation was a substantial factor in causing the injury, death or damage to property; P.A. 03-250 provided that the owner of a rental or leased motor vehicle is not responsible for damages unless the damages arose from such owner's operation of the motor vehicle, effective October 1, 2003, and applicable to causes of action accruing on or after that date.

      Treble damages were originally mandatory; they were made discretionary in 1909. The jury should find the actual damages and the court multiply them. 59 C. 1. The statute is to be strictly construed. If the complaint omits any element of the statute; 66 C. 570; 75 C. 124; or alleges other tortious acts, so that the verdict does not necessarily establish violation of the statute; 59 C. 1; 84 C. 52; 87 C. 256; multiple damages cannot be awarded. Multiple damages should be claimed in the demand for relief. 84 C. 52; 87 C. 257. Cited. 111 C. 729. Additional damages are penal and are not recoverable from insurer. 127 C. 533. Cited. 134 C. 599. Cited. 192 C. 280; Id., 301. Cited. 196 C. 494. Cited. 203 C. 667. Unconstitutionally deprives defendant of jury trial, statute does not purport to authorize jury determination of multiple damages. 206 C. 608. Cited. 211 C. 133. Cited. 216 C. 40.

      Judicially created standard "precludes unlimited and arbitrary discretion by the court in its application of statute." 4 CA 451. Cited. 8 CA 254. Cited. 31 CA 781. Cited. 43 CA 1.

      Cited. 39 CS 228.

      Double or treble damages may be claimed in complaint alleging both common-law and statutory negligence, provided facts which bring case within statute are clearly stated. 4 Conn. Cir. Ct. 462, 463, 464.

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