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New Trials Cases Summarized By Accident Attorney

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Summarizes Cases Involving New Trials.

Brien Roche

This page within Virginia Tort Case Law is a compilation of cases reported by the Virginia Supreme Court and summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of New Trials. For more information about new trials see the pages on Wikipedia 

New Trials-Statutes

See Va. Code § 8.01-383, which states that not more than two new trials shall be granted to same party in same cause on ground that verdict is contrary to evidence.

See Va. Code § 16-1-97.1 as to new trials in District Court.

New Trials-Cases

2003 Velocity Express Mid-Atlantic v. Hugen, 266 Va. 188, 585 S.E.2d 557.

Trial court improperly denied motion for mistrial. Supreme court grants request for a new trial and remands on issue of damages alone since the issue of liability was clear in that evidence overwhelmingly supports a finding of liability.

1992 Davoudlarian v. Krombein, 244 Va. 88, 418 S.E.2d 868.

Medical malpractice case. Evidence on liability disputed. When record fails to indicate clearly that evidence on liability did not influence jury in its award of inadequate damages, trial court should order new trials on all issues.

1990 Hall v. Hall, 240 Va. 360, 397 S.E.2d 829.

In citing Rawle v. McIlhenny, 163 Va. 735, Court stated that normally those cases that plaintiff seeks to overturn verdict on grounds of inadequacy are divided into five classes. One such class consists of cases in which clear preponderance of the evidence is in favor of right of recovery although there is sufficient evidence to support contrary verdict. Ordinarily, in such cases new trials are limited to issue of damages unless amount of damages recoverable is not clearly separable from question of liability. In this case verdict was in favor of plaintiff and damages are separable, therefore, on retrial, issue will be limited to damages.

1984 Bell v. Kirby, 226 Va. 641, 311 S.E.2d 799.

Defendant requested new trial on grounds that plaintiff remained in wheelchair throughout trial. Post-trial hearing indicated that plaintiff either would have been in wheelchair or on walker. Trial court did not abuse its discretion in refusing new trial.

1983 Taylor v. Maritime Overseas Corp., 224 Va. 562, 299 S.E.2d 340.

New trial improperly granted where alleged after-discovered evidence had already been in defendant’s possession and award, although seemingly high ($25,000 for injured shoulder), did not shock conscience.

1982 Ford Motor Co. v. Bartholomew, 224 Va. 421, 297 S.E.2d 675.

Remittitur upheld on appeal. Discussion of rules applicable to new trials where verdict inadequate or excessive. When verdict is so inadequate or excessive that integrity of finding on liability is suspect then only remedy is new trial. When verdict is not so excessive as to indicate bias or sympathy then court may put plaintiff on terms or may grant defendant new trial limited to damages.

1980 Rutherford v. Zearfoss, 221 Va. 685, 272 S.E.2d 225.

Verdict held to be excessive as having been influenced by sympathy. New trial granted on all issues.

1977 Rome v. Kelly Springfield Tire Co., 217 Va. 943, 234 S.E.2d 277.

Jury was properly instructed and returned verdict for exact amount of lost wages and medical expenses. Jury award was more than a coincidence as it represented only two of seven elements of damages covered by instruction. New trial should have been granted.

1974 Clatterbuck v. Miller, 215 Va. 359, 209 S.E.2d 904.

Plaintiff’s vehicle was rear-ended. At first trial, court granted summary judgment to plaintiff on issue of liability; jury returned verdict for plaintiff for $40,000. Trial judge felt this was excessive and granted new trial on both liability and damages; jury found for plaintiff for $5,000. Judgment was affirmed.

1971 Oyler v. Ramsey, 211 Va. 564, 179 S.E.2d 904.

Defendant complains, after verdict, that juror and plaintiff’s counsel improperly stood silent when prospective jurors were asked about business relations. Since no objection was made before jury was sworn, it is incumbent upon defendant to show that he was injured by alleged irregularity. It was not error to refuse to grant new trial.

1967 Miller v. Vaughan Motor Co., 207 Va. 900, 153 S.E.2d 266.

Where jury’s verdict in personal injury action is supported by sufficient evidence and reached by fair and impartial jury, judge should not award new trial or put plaintiff on terms to accept reduced amount unless verdict appears to be result of misconception of facts or law.

1966 Smith v. Wright, 207 Va. 482, 151 S.E.2d 359.

Plaintiff claimed whiplash injuries from slight collision. Defendant’s doctor testified that impact being very slight, he could find no whiplash. Verdict for defendant set aside; new trial granted. This was error. Jury was warranted in accepting defendant’s evidence in first trial over that of plaintiff’s.

1966 Sexton v. Stroman, 207 Va. 33, 147 S.E.2d 758.

Where jury verdict is supported by evidence, error for court to set aside on basis that it feels jury has committed miscarriage of justice.

1965 Saulsbury v. Williams, 205 Va. 727, 139 S.E.2d 816.

Motion to strike as to defendant was error. Jury verdict as to co-defendant not error. No need to reverse verdict as to co-defendant for remand. Instead, codefendant will be remanded for determination of entitlement to contribution from defendant.

1963 Giannone v. Johnson, 204 Va. 493, 132 S.E.2d 445.

Where case has been retried and both trial verdicts are appealed, Supreme Court will look at first trial and if court erred in setting aside that verdict then first verdict will be reinstated.

1961 Smith v. Combined Ins. Co., 202 Va. 758, 120 S.E.2d 267.

On motion for new trial involving correctness of instructions, court may reconsider instructions although not objected to and if they are found to be incorrect and calculated to mislead jury, may set aside verdict.

1960 Turner v. Burford Buick Corp., 201 Va. 693, 112 S.E.2d 911.

Order awarding new trial not appealable.

1956 Kearns v. Hall, 197 Va. 736, 91 S.E.2d 648.

Jury viewed scene without court or counsel present. Plaintiff’s counsel obtained affidavit that claimed jurors had made time checks, measurements and other unauthorized acts during the view. New trial was granted. This was error as new trial for matters not appearing in record can be granted only upon competent evidence.

1955 Independent Cab Ass’n v. La Touche, 197 Va. 367, 89 S.E.2d 320.

At trial plaintiff denied she had been previously injured in earlier accident, but after trial, defense counsel received information of previous injury and moved for new trial. Supreme Court held it was error for trial court to have refused defendant new trial.

1950 Drudge v. Cooper, 190 Va. 843, 58 S.E.2d 878.

Plaintiff received verdict for $2,500, which she claimed was inadequate. On appeal she argued that new trial should be granted since instruction on liability was faulty. Original verdict was affirmed. Two issues are separate and distinct.

1948 Ivory Storage Co. v. ACLR Co., 187 Va. 857, 48 S.E.2d 242.

New trials.In railroad crossing case, Supreme Court reversed judgment for defendant and ordered new trial as to that claim and counterclaim wherein jury had awarded judgment to counterclaimant. Jury’s decision on counterclaim obviously was influenced by court’s entry of judgment for defendant.

1948 Murray v. Smithson, 187 Va. 759, 48 S.E.2d 239.

If reasonable and fair minded men may differ on conclusion to be reached, verdict must be sustained.

1946 Chappell v. Mite, 184 Va. 810, 36 S.E.2d 524.

Where amount of damages recovered is not distinctly separable from issue of liability, new trials, if ordered, should be on all issues. When liability of defendant is not seriously challenged, then on retrial issue of damages may be only question submitted.

1945 Smith v. City of Richmond, 184 Va. 40, 34 S.E.2d 371.

Court should not set aside verdict supported by credible evidence.

1945 Braxton v. Flippo, 183 Va. 839, 33 S.E.2d 757.

To justify new trials there must be no evidence to support verdict.

1944 Perdue v. Patrick, 182 Va. 398, 29 S.E.2d 371.

New trials.It is duty of trial judge to set aside verdict of jury where same is not justified by law and evidence.

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New Trials Cases Summarized By Accident Attorney

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