Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Superior Court Gives a Primer on How To Preserve Request for JNOV

In the case of Corvin v. Tihansky, No. 2018 Pa. Super. 91 (Pa. Super. April 20, 2018 Bender, P.J.E., Shogan, J., Strassburger, J.) (Op. by Shogan, J.), the Superior Court affirmed a trial court’s denial of a Plaintiff’s request for a new trial or a judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) after the jury found that the defendant driver’s negligence in a rear-end accident was not a factual cause of any harm.  

According to the Opinion, the court ruled in this fashion after finding that the Plaintiff waived his JNOV issue where the Plaintiff’s counsel failed to move for a directed verdict, and where the Plaintiff’s counsel withdrew his request for a binding jury instruction. 

The court additionally noted that the jury's verdict may have been supported by the fact that the Plaintiff’s allegedly concealed of his pre-accident chiropractor visits from his own physicians which  presented the jury with an issue of credibility. 

The court also noted that one of the Defendant’s experts also offered an opinion that the Plaintiff had not been injured in the subject accident.  

The Superior Court found that there was no abuse of discretion in the trial court’s refusal to substitute its judgment for that of the jury with respect to the Plaintiff's request for a new trial.  

Source:  “Digest of Recent Cases.”  Pennsylvania Law Weekly (May 8, 2018).  

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