In the latest opinion to tackle remittitur by New Jersey trial judges, an appeals court Jan. 7 upheld the denial of a motion to reduce a $2.4 million personal injury award, but criticized the 2011 landmark Supreme Court ruling that allowed remittitur based on the trial judge’s “feel of the case” and comparable verdicts.
In a precedential opinion, the court in Mickens v. Misdom applied the standard for remitting jury verdicts that was articulated in the New Jersey Supreme Court’s landmark 2011 decision in He v. Miller. At the same time, however, the panel called into question the correctness of that sharply split 3-2 ruling, which held that trial judges can overturn jury verdicts they deem grossly excessive based upon their “feel of the case,” their own experiences as judges and lawyers and comparable verdicts in similar lawsuits.
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