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Court Examines Grounds for Setting Aside a Jury’s Verdict in a New York Personal Injury Case

Typically, parties in a personal injury case will rely on jurors to assess the evidence presented and determine issues of fault and damages. Although jurors are not legal professionals, they are expected to issue verdicts that align with a reasonable evaluation of the evidence. If a jury fails to meet this expectation, their verdict may be vacated. Recently, a New York court discussed the grounds for setting aside a jury’s verdict in a case arising out of a motor vehicle accident. If you sustained injuries in a car crash caused by another party’s negligence, you have the right to seek redress, and it is in your best interest to talk to a Syracuse personal injury attorney about your potential claims.

Factual and Procedural History

It is alleged that the plaintiff was involved in a collision with a bus operated by the defendant driver and owned by the defendant company. The plaintiff sustained injuries in the crash; as such, she filed personal injury claims against the defendants. The case was tried before a jury that ultimately issued a verdict in favor of the plaintiff on the issue of liability.

Reportedly, the jury issued a separate verdict in which it awarded her over $800,000 in damages for future pain and suffering. The defendants filed a motion to set aside the verdict and for judgment in their favor as a matter of law. Alternatively, the defendants argued that the verdict should be set aside as against the weight of the evidence. The trial court denied the defendants’ motion, and they appealed.

Grounds for Setting Aside a Jury’s Verdict

On appeal, the court found that the trial court correctly denied the motion for judgment in its favor as a matter of law but erred in denying the defendant’s motion to the extent that it argued that the verdict was against the weight of the evidence. The court explained that a motion to set aside a jury verdict and for judgment as a matter of law should only be granted when no valid permissible inferences or line of reasoning could lead a reasonable person to the conclusion the jury reached, based on the evidence presented at trial.

In the subject case, the court found that in viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to the plaintiff, there was a valid line of reasoning that could prompt a reasonable person to issue a verdict against the defendant. The court explained, though, that the evidence weighed so heavily in favor of the defendant that the jury could not have reached the verdict via any fair assessment of the evidence. Thus, the court reversed the trial court ruling.

Meet with a Trusted Syracuse Personal Injury Lawyer

Reckless driving is the root cause of most collisions, and motorists that carelessly cause accidents should be held accountable for any losses that arise out of their negligence. If you were injured in a car accident, it is smart to meet with an attorney to evaluate your options for protecting your interests. The trusted Syracuse personal injury attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers have ample experience helping victims of accidents seek justice for their losses, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly on your behalf. You can contact us through our form online or by calling us at 315-479-9000 to set up a conference.

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