Thursday, October 22, 2015

A motion to set aside a jury verdict.

Practice point:  The Appellate Division affirmed the Supreme Court's denial of that branch of the motion which was to set aside the jury verdict on the issue of liability and for judgment as a matter of law. The defendants failed to demonstrate that there was no valid line of reasoning and permissible inferences which could lead rational people to the conclusion reached by the jury based on the evidence presented at trial, pursuant to CPLR 4404[a].

The Appellate Division also affirmed denial of that branch of the motion which was to set aside the jury verdict on the issue of liability as contrary to the weight of the evidence. It is for the jury to make determinations as to the credibility of the witnesses, and great deference in this regard is accorded to the jury, which had the opportunity to see and hear the witnesses. The Appellate Division found that, here, the disputed testimony of the parties presented issues of credibility which were for the jury to resolve.

Student note::  A jury verdict should not be set aside as contrary to the weight of the evidence unless the jury could not have reached the verdict by any fair interpretation of the evidence.

Case:  Daniel v. Thomas, NY Slip Op 07467 (2d Dept. 2015)

Here is the decision.

Tomorrow's issue:  Summary judgment in a rear-end collision action.