District Judge Joseph F. Bianco

 

Read Full- Text Decision

Defendants Wallace, Eamons, and Falzaron sought Rule 50(b) judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) after an unfavorable jury verdict on Conte’s tortious interference with contract claim. In addition to challenging Conte’s claim under the statute of limitations, they raised five arguments about the sufficiency of trial evidence and governmental immunity. Second Circuit reversed and remanded the court’s July 26, 2013 and April 2, 2015 orders, ultimately holding it was for district court to consider all arguments related to defendants’ Rule 50 motion other than the statute of limitations claim. After considering the five grounds raised in defendants’ Rule 50 motion, the court held defendants not entitled to JMOL, and denied their Rule 50(b) motion. It found defendants waived their immunity and sufficiency of evidence arguments by failing to raise them prior to the trial jury’s verdict, and that no manifest injustice would result from the court’s decision to decline to address defendants’ arguments on the merits. The only time defendants raised governmental immunity prior to their Rule 50(b) motion was at summary judgment. Further, there was no basis to conclude, under the manifest injustice standard, that plaintiff’s claim lacked legal support.