When a jury returns a verdict in a plaintiff’s favor, the jury will then move to the next stage of the process where it determines the appropriate amount of damages that the plaintiff or plaintiffs are entitled to. In most Maryland personal injury cases, the figure the jury arrives at will be given great respect by the trial judge, and will only be modified under certain circumstances. A recent truck accident case illustrates the level of deference that judges give to jury verdicts.
The Facts of the Case
The plaintiff lost his wife and daughter, and his son was seriously injured, when the three were involved in a serious accident. The plaintiff’s wife was driving the couple’s two children in the slow lane on the highway when a Fed Ex truck slammed into the back of the family’s car. It was going approximately 65 miles per hour. The collision resulted in the deaths of the plaintiff’s wife and daughter, and seriously injured his nineteen-month-old son.
The plaintiff filed a wrongful death and negligence lawsuit on behalf of himself and his son against several of the parties involved, including Fed Ex and the driver of the truck who worked for an independent contractor that was retained by Fed Ex. After the case was submitted to a jury, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff. The verdict was broken down into economic and non-economic damages. The economic damages consisted of about 1-3% of the total damages award.
After the verdict was handed down, the judge who oversaw the trial recused himself and tha case was sent to another judge. The defendant filed post-trial motions seeking a new trial or, in the alternative, to reduce the plaintiff’s award. The motions were denied and the defendant appealed.
On appeal, the court affirmed the jury’s verdict. The court explained that there was sufficient evidence to support the jury’s verdict, given the effect that the loss of the plaintiff’s wife and daughter had on him and his son. The court explained that it is not the job of a judge to question the wisdom of the jury’s verdict, only to ensure that it complies with the law.
Here, the court held that the jury’s verdict did comply with the law and should be upheld. The defendants attempted to argue that the award was improper because the economic damages comprised such a small percentage of the overall award amount; however, the court found no basis for that being a reason to reverse a jury’s determination. Similarly, the fact that the award was among the largest for cases of this kind did not convince the court that it was improper. Thus, the court affirmed the jury’s verdict.
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Truck Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Maryland truck accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The dedicated Maryland truck accident attorneys at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have decades of collective experience handling a wide range of truck accident cases, including complex cases with multiple defendants. To learn more, call 410-654-3600 to schedule your free consultation today.
More Blog Posts:
Court Reverses Plaintiff’s Award in Bus Accident Case Based on Improper Jury Instruction, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published June 19, 2018.
Court Requires Defendant to Compensate Plaintiff for Medical Treatment of His Choice, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published June 5, 2018.