Jeff Small, M.D v. Hugh Baker

  • Court: Connecticut State, Superior Court, Fairfield J.D
  • Case number: FBT-CV19-6087241-S
  • Filed: June 20, 2019
  • Judge: Kenneth Povodator | Barry Stevens | Charles Reed | Dale Radcliffe | Thomas Saadi
  • Case type: T90 – Torts – All other

Parties Involved

Verdict Information

  • Verdict date: May 08, 2024
  • Total damages awarded to the Plaintiff: $583,205.00

About the Case


Plaintiff Jeff Small, M.D., resided in Fairfield, Connecticut, as did the defendant Hugh L. Baker. On January 19, 2019, around noon, the plaintiff went skiing on the Timberline trail at Okemo Mountain Ski Area in Ludlow, Vermont. At that time, Okemo management designated Timberline as an “intermediate trail,” indicated by blue squares and the trail map. The plaintiff, a paying customer of Okemo, lawfully skied on its premises, generally on Timberline, while the defendant, also a paying customer, was also skiing on the same trail. The plaintiff was skiing ahead of the defendant on Timberline. The defendant had to ski in accordance with the Skier & Rider Responsibility Code, which required skiing in control to avoid colliding with others. However, his negligence to do so resulted in the following accident.

On that date, the defendant skied downhill without sufficient control of his speed, direction, ability to turn, slow down or stop. At that time, the plaintiff had stopped and was downhill, ahead of the defendant. The defendant collided with the plaintiff, causing severe injuries. The defendant’s dangerous, irresponsible, and negligent conduct, along with the collision, was not an inherent risk of skiing. There was no negligence on the part of the plaintiff.

The collision and resulting injuries were caused by the defendant’s negligence while skiing excessively fast and failing to control his speed, direction, ability to turn, slow down, stop, observe other skiers, including the plaintiff. The defendant had failed to maintain a safe distance, avoid collisions, yield the right of way, abide by the Skier & Rider Responsibility Code, or act as a reasonably prudent person would have under the circumstances.


Due to the defendant’s negligence, the plaintiff had sustained various personal injuries, some potentially permanent or progressive. The plaintiff suffered acute comminuted displaced fractures of the right humerus and an intra-articular fracture fragment. Additionally, the right shoulder was dislocated and required surgical repair under general anesthesia. Furthermore, the plaintiff experienced soft tissue injuries and nerve damage in the right shoulder, arm, wrist, and hand, resulting in palsy in the right (dominant) hand. There were also surgical and post-surgical complications affecting kidney function.


Due to the defendant’s negligence and resulting injuries, the plaintiff had lost from work as a physician and surgeon, leading to significant financial loss. Consequently, the plaintiff had also lost his medical and surgical skills, as well as his capabilities, causing further financial loss. Additionally, the plaintiff lost opportunities to perform his usual work, resulting in great financial loss. Moreover, the plaintiff had also incurred expenses for surgical and medical care, physical therapy, X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, corticosteroid injections, and medications, all contributing to his financial loss. The plaintiff had also endured physical and mental pain and had anticipated needing further medical procedures. Furthermore, his ability to enjoy life as before had been compromised indefinitely. Consequently, the plaintiff, Jeff Small, M.D., had sought monetary compensation for these damages..

Jury Verdict

On May 08, 2024, a Connecticut jury unanimously found the verdict to be in favour of the plaintiff, Jeff Small and against the defendant. Accordingly, the jury awarded compensatory monetary damages of $583,205. On the same day, Hon Kenneth Povodator entered a final judgment upholding the verdict of the jury in favour of the plaintiff.

Court Documents:


Jury Verdict