On July 20, 2017, Judge Brian Van Couyghen of the Newport County Superior Court granted Rhode Island Public Transit Authority’s Rule 50 Motion, granting it judgment as a matter of law. By doing so, the Judge ruled that plaintiffs failed to present sufficient evidence from which the jury could conclude that RIPTA was liable for the negligent supervision of one of its drivers. The motion was granted on day 8 of the jury trial after the conclusion of the plaintiffs’ case in chief. AP&S attorneys Lori Caron Silveira and Ali Khorsand represented RIPTA at the trial.
The trial in Joseph Hall et al. : v. : City of Newport et al. (NC 07-243) was the culmination of ten years of litigation between multiple parties. The plaintiffs, four members of a Newport family, the Halls, alleged that RIPTA negligently supervised one of its bus drivers who had allegedly used a RIPTA trolley to harass and assault them. The plaintiffs also filed several claims against the City of Newport and the driver in his individual capacity for violation of their rights under the Rhode Island Constitution, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and conspiracy, among others.