Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Post-Trial Motions Denied in Zero Verdict Personal Injury Case

In the case of Kim v. Weishaupt, No. 2018-C-1698 (C.P. Lehigh Co. Jan. 11, 2021 Johnston, J.), the court denied a Plaintiff’s post-trial motions after a defense verdict in a rear-end motor vehicle accident litigation.

According to the Opinion, at trial, the Defendant stipulated to negligence but denied causing the injuries and damages alleged by the Plaintiff. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the Defendant.

The Plaintiff filed post-trial motions asserting that he was entitled to either a new trial or judgment notwithstanding the verdict. The Plaintiff claimed that the weight of the evidence overwhelmingly established that the Defendant’s negligence caused the Plaintiff’s injuries.

After reviewing the applicable standard of review, the court noted that, a jury was entitled to believe some, all, or none of the evidence presented. The court additionally noted that, if the jury did not believe the expert testimony presented at trial, it was free to disregard such testimony. The court noted that “[f]or example, the experts base their opinions, in part, on subjective information provided by Plaintiff and, if the jury does not find Plaintiff credible, the jury is free to disregard the expert testimony.” See Op. at p. 3.

The court also noted that a jury was not obligated to resolve the question of causation in the Plaintiff’s favor simply because a Defendant had stipulated to liability. 

The court reviewed the evidence presented and stated that the jury’s decision had a reasonable relationship to the evidence presented and did not shock the judicial conscience. 

 The court otherwise noted that there was contradictory evidence regarding the existence and the cause of the Plaintiff’s injuries, which also served to support the jury's verdict.

As noted, the Plaintiff’s post-trial motions were denied.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Aug. 24, 2021).

Source of image:  Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash.com.

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