Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Post-Trial Motions Addressed in Lackawanna County MVA Case

In his recent decision in the case of Holmes v. Brozonis, No. 2008-CV-5025 (C.P. Lacka. Co. Jan. 16, 2013 Nealon, J.), Judge Terrence R. Nealon of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas addressed various issues on post-trial motions after an automobile accident lawsuit trial in which the jury entered a verdict in the amount of $4,250.00.

In this Opinion, the court addressed the law regarding arguments pertaining to the alleged inadequacy of the verdict, with respect to defense counsel’s re-direct examination of the defense medical expert, and with respect to defense counsel’s re-direct examination of the defense medical expert, and regarding the Court’s instruction given to the jury in response to a question raised by the jury during the course of their deliberations.

With regards to the claim that the jury’s award was inadequate, Judge Nealon noted the shocks-the-conscience test and found that the case before him did not meet that test.

As to the allegations that the defense re-direct examination of the defense medical expert went well beyond the scope of the cross-examination, the Court reviewed the transcript and concluded that defense counsel’s questioning was not improper. Rather, the Court viewed the Plaintiff’s attorney’s cross-examination of the defense expert as having “opened the door” to the re-direct examination at issue.

In terms of the issues surrounding the jury’s question submitted to the court during the course of its deliberation, the Opinion noted that the jury had an inquiry regarding the Plaintiff’s medical expense exhibits.

Judge Nealon stated that he had first reviewed his proposed response to the jury’s inquiry with counsel and had received no objection from either counsel to that planned response.

In rejecting the Plaintiff’s post-trial motions on this issue, Judge Nealon provided a thorough review of the law pertaining to the Court’s broad discretion in formulating an appropriate response to an inquiry submitted by a jury during deliberations.

The Court not only found its response to the jury to be within the parameters of the law but also noted that any objection in this regard had been waived due to the failure of any party to state an objection during the course of the proceedings to the response provided by the court to the jury.

Overall, the Court denied the Plaintiff’s Motion for Post-Trial Relief.

Anyone desiring a copy of this Opinion in the case of Holmes v. Brozonis may contact me at dancummins@comcast.net.

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