Tort Law


Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Verdicts

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 Verdicts.  


1998 Toombs v. Hayes, 256 Va. 193, 501 S.E.2d 409.

In this personal injury action plaintiff challenged adequacy of verdict. Notations on jury verdict form raised questions as to how jury arrived at its verdict. Supreme Court concludes that notations such as these are not part of verdict and court should not speculate about their origin, purpose, or meaning.

1993 Ingles v. Dively, 246 Va. 244, 435 S.E.2d 641.

Court should not engage in speculation over meaning of notations made by jury members on verdict form during process of deliberation.

1991 Johnson v. Smith, 241 Va. 396, 403 S.E.2d 685.

Unless parties otherwise agree, special verdict forms in negligence actions should not be utilized. In this wrongful death action, damages for various allowable elements should have been awarded in lump sum and should have been awarded to beneficiaries according to Va. Code § 8.01-54.

1982 Dutton v. Locker, 224 Va. 535, 297 S.E.2d 814.

Verdict should be set aside only when plainly wrong or without credible evidence to support it.

1971 Mobley v. Pendleton, 212 Va. 418, 184 S.E.2d 798.

Verdict silent as to one defendant is verdict in his favor. However, in master-servant case, if verdict is against master but silent as to servant then it should be set aside.

1970 Rakes v. Fulcher, 210 Va. 542, 172 S.E.2d 751.

Objections as to verdict form or meaning of jury verdict must be raised before jury is discharged.

1963 Freeman v. Sproles, 204 Va. 353, 131 S.E.2d 410.

Verdict was defective because it apportioned compensatory damages.

1953 Zedd v. Jenkins, 194 Va. 704, 74 S.E.2d 791.

It is duty of trial judge to correct formal mistakes in verdict, but this power does not include right to change substance of jury’s finding. When verdict is contrary to instructions, judge should re-instruct jury and send them back for further deliberations.

1952 Northern Va. Power Co. v. Bailey, 194 Va. 464, 73 S.E.2d 425.

Verdicts are to be favorably construed and when meaning of jury can be satisfactorily collected from verdict, upon matters involved in issue, it ought not to be set aside for irregularity or want of form in its wording.

1949 Butler v. Darden, 189 Va. 459, 53 S.E.2d 146.

Guest statute case. Form of verdict bears evidence of fact that jury was confused.

1948 Cape Charles Flying Serv. v. Nottingham, 187 Va. 444, 47 S.E.2d 540.

Jury returned verdict against “defendant,” when there were two defendants in case. Only reasonable inference was that jury intended verdict to be against both defendants.

1947 Carter v. Butler, 186 Va. 186, 42 S.E.2d 201.

Trial court corrected verdict form to delete any mention of insurance.

1946 Atlantic Greyhound Corp. v. Shelton, 184 Va. 684, 36 S.E.2d 625.

Jury returned verdict against employer but not employee. It was duty of trial court to ascertain jury’s true intent.

1944 Sheckler v. Anderson, 182 Va. 701, 29 S.E.2d 867.

Supreme Court will go far in disregard of defects in verdict form so long as real finding of jury may be determined.

1942 Remine v. Whited, 180 Va. 1, 21 S.E.2d 743.

Duty of court to require jury verdicts be put in such form as to effectuate true intent where intent can be ascertained with certainty from statements of jurors or from record.


For more information on verdicts see the pages on Wikipedia.

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