Luther, Collier, Hodges & Cash, LLP – Attorneys at Law

Florida – Jury Verdict Contrary to Manifest Weight of Evidence

Plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle rear-ended by the Defendant. Defendant admitted liability but denied Plaintiff was injured in the accident. Plaintiff testified she was injured and sought treatment the following day and continued for some time to receive treatment. Plaintiff’s medical witnesses opined she was injured in the accident and one concluded it was a permanent injury. Defendant’s expert initially testified Plaintiff suffered an injury before wavering on this issue. After a defense verdict the trial court reversed the verdict.

The trial court found that the verdict was contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence in that the evidence from all experts was Plaintiff suffered an injury. On appeal the appellate court applies the reasonableness test where the trial court orders a new trial when the verdict is against the manifest weight of the evidence. The appellate court agreed with the trial court’s overturning the verdict as it related to plaintiff being injured and agreed with the defendant that the new trial should be limited to determining only damages for non-permanent injuries as the evidence at trial conflicted on this issue of permanency and it was certainly in the realm of the jury to accept or reject a permanent injury.

The court remanded the case to the trial court for a new trial limited to damages recoverable for non-permanent injuries

Hummel v. Taft (Appeal from Osceola County Circuit Court: 5D18-459)


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