Appeals Court Affirms Car Accident Defense Verdict

JJ Hip

Plaintiff sues defendant claiming back injuries in accident, including a herniated disc. Jury gives a defense verdict. Plaintiff appeals, claiming the verdict was against the weight of the evidence.

The cases are going to fail almost every time. Juries are going to be given a lot of latitude to ignore the unconverted evidence if the don’t believe the plaintiff, plaintiff’s lawyer, or the testifying doctor(s).  The reality is that a jury can choose to accept all of the evidence, some of the evidence or none of the evidence.

Then again there is the idea or remittur where the jury’s verdict is far too high.  Judges using their sound judgment can reduce a jury’s verdict to whatever they want to reduce it to and there is very little a plaintiff can do about it.  You either take what the judge gives you or you get a whole new trial.  Neither are appealing outcomes if you just hit a great jury verdict.  So why, then, is the inverse not true?  Shouldn’t a judge be able to increase the amount?  It would seem fair.  But is is not the law in Maryland and I’ve never seen it applied anywhere.

These are the facts of this case against the Three Little Pigs, decided this week by the 10th District Ohio Court of Appeals. No, I’m serious, that was the name of the defendant (driver in scope of employment case). The trial judge in this case found that the man did not provide a causal link between the injuries he claimed were “no reasonable mind could differ” injuries, and the car accident.

The lawyers tried to point to treatment that the plaintiff received for soft tissue injuries two days after the accident. But, medical records are not testimony and the court rejected the claims. This was just not an appeal worth filing.

You can read more about the case here.