Florida Appeals Court Upholds Jury Verdict Despite Defendant’s “Admissions”

A Florida appeals court recently considered a Florida car accident case in which the jury had found in the defendant’s favor, despite admissions made by the defendant. The defendant had been driving a car and collided with a motorcycle, resulting in a fatality. The plaintiff filed a claim against the defendant and the case went to trial. According to the court’s opinion, prior to the trial, the defendant made some “admissions” in her deposition, which were admitted at the trial. Despite this, the jury found in favor of the defendant, finding she was not the cause of the crash. The plaintiff filed a motion for a new trial, which the trial court denied. On appeal, the plaintiff argued that the jury’s decision was contrary to the evidence presented at trial and that the jury was bound by the defendant’s admissions.

If a party receives a jury verdict that is not in their favor, the party may be able to appeal the decision and other decisions made by the trial court. On appeal, a Florida appeals court reviews the decisions made by the trial court under different standards, depending on the decision. If a party files a motion for a new trial, the trial court will review the decision to see if it was supported by “competent, substantial evidence,” while considering the court’s observations about the witnesses at trial.

Thus, a trial judge can consider, in light of these observations, whether the jury’s verdict was “unjust” or a “miscarriage of justice.” When an appeals court reviews a denial of a motion for a new trial, the appeals court can only consider whether the trial court “abused its discretion” in denying the motion for a new trial. Thus, the appeals court should only overturn the judge’s decision if the evidence at trial clearly and obviously reflected a verdict in the other party’s favor—only where there is “no rational basis in the evidence to support the verdict.” In addition, if a party appeals a jury’s verdict, an appeals court will consider whether the verdict was “contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence.”

The Court’s Decision

The appeals court explained that it could not reweigh the evidence after a jury’s decision. Even if there was conflicting evidence presented at trial, the jury was tasked with weighing that evidence to resolve the conflicts. The court stated that the jury verdict could only be reversed “in the absence of conflicting evidence when there is no rational basis in the evidence to support the verdict.”

Contact a Miami Car Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Miami motor vehicle accident or another type of accident, the attorneys at Friedman, Rodman, Frank & Estrada, PA can help. Our Miami accident attorneys have nearly 100 years of combined experience helping accident victims. Dedicated to making things easier for their clients, our attorneys have excellent reputations for integrity, skillfulness, and vigorous advocacy. Contact Friedman, Rodman, Frank & Estrada, PA toll-free at 877-448-8585 or contact them online to set up a free initial consultation.

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