Delaware Court Upholds Jury Verdict in Favor of Auto Mechanic

DELAWARE — Following up on a prior ACT post, where a Delaware jury returned a verdict of over $40 Million in favor of the widow of a deceased auto mechanic, defendant, who was attributed a liability share of 20 percent, filed a renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law under Rule 50(b) and a motion for a new trial, or in the alternative, remittitur. The defendant argued among other things, that the jury’s verdict was irreconcilably inconsistent and the amount of damages shocks the conscience. On January 31, 2019, the Supreme Court of Delaware denied the defendant’s motion and emphasized that “a verdict will not be disturbed as excessive unless it is so clearly so as to indicate that it was the result of passion, prejudice, partiality, or corruption; or that it was manifestly the result of disregard of the evidence or applicable law.  Here, in consideration of the plaintiff’s award, the court focused in on the 20 percent attributable to the defendant only, and not the full amount.

Only the Westlaw citation is currently available at 2019 WL 413660.