Can a Judge Override a Jury’s Verdict in a Florida Personal Injury Case?

In most Florida personal injury cases, the judge’s role is to determine which evidence is admissible at trial, rule on any objections that are made during the course of the trial, and ultimately instruct the jury on the relevant law after the parties have rested. Judges also are responsible for hearing any post-trial motions and ruling on these motions.In most cases, once a jury returns a verdict in a Florida personal injury case, that decision is final. However, there are a few exceptions to that general rule. First, either party may be able to appeal a legal decision made by the judge during the course of the trial. For example, if one party believes that the court unfairly kept evidence from the jury’s consideration, they may appeal that ruling to a higher court.

Another example of this is when the trial judge determines that the jury’s verdict is against the manifest weight of the evidence. This is usually argued in a post-trial motion brought by the side that did not prevail at trial, arguing that the jury was wrong in its determination based on the evidence presented. In order to succeed in this type of claim, a party must show that the jury based its decision on evidence that did not exist or was not admitted. A recent case illustrates the courts’ general reluctance to override a jury’s verdict.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was injured in a slip-and-fall accident and filed a personal injury case against the defendant. At trial, conflicting evidence was presented regarding several elements of the plaintiff’s claim. Ultimately, the jury found in favor of the defendant.

In a post-trial motion, the plaintiff asked the court to reverse the jury’s verdict because it was against the weight of the evidence. The court agreed and granted the plaintiff’s motion for a new trial. The defendant appealed.

On appeal, the judge’s decision to grant the plaintiff a new trial was reversed, and a final judgment was entered in favor of the defendant. The court stated that when there is conflicting evidence presented at trial, the jury is free to resolve the case in favor of either side, and it is not for a judge to impose his or her personal judgment on which party should have prevailed.

Have You Been Injured in a Florida Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in any kind of Florida slip-and-fall accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation through a South Florida premises liability lawsuit. It is important that you immediately consult with a dedicated Florida personal injury attorney about your case, so your attorney can get to work investigating and preparing your case. The dedicated South Florida personal injury attorneys at Friedman, Rodman & Frank have extensive experience handling all types of Florida personal injury cases, and we provide victims with free consultations so that they can better understand their rights and make an informed decision on how to proceed. Call 877-448-8585 to schedule your free consultation today.

More Blog Posts:

Florida’s Recreational Use Statute, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published October 27, 2017.

Nursing Home Claims Privilege in Face of Plaintiff’s Discovery Request, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published October 5, 2017.

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