The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position after a jury verdict for plaintiff. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.
(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this bus accident/brain injury case and its proceedings.)
Defendant, Universal Bus, LLC respectfully submits the following memorandum of points and authorities in support of their motion for a new trial:
Defendant moves pursuant to CCP § 657 et seq, for a new trial on the claims made by plaintiff Jane Wong, a Sacramento resident. A new trial is warranted because:
1. The jury was not allowed to consider the comparative fault of the plaintiff despite evidence from which the jury could have reasonably concluded that plaintiff failed to exercise due care for her safety; and
2. Plaintiff’s counsel’s prejudicial and improper “golden rule” argument encouraged the jury to award excessive pain and suffering damages; and
3. The jury’s award of damages was excessive.
THE TRIAL COURT HAS BROAD AUTHORITY TO GRANT A NEW TRIAL.
On a motion for new trial, the court reviews the entire case and, if it concludes that a miscarriage of justice occurred on any of the grounds delineated in Code of Civil Procedure § 657, it must grant a new trial. (Mercer v. Perez (1968) 68 Cal.2d 104, 111.)
A motion for new trial calls for reexamination of an issue of fact or law in the same court after a trial and decision by a jury, court or referee. (CCP §§ 656, 657; Fountain Valley Chateau Blanc Homeowner’s Ass’n v. Department of Veterans Affairs (1998) 67 Cal.App.4th 743, 750-753.) Thus, a new trial may be granted after the rendering of any judgment. (See Carney v. Simmonds (1957) 49 Cal.2d 84, 315 P.2d 305; Green v. Del-Camp Investment, Inc. (1961) 193 Cal.App.2d 479.) A court has broad discretion to grant a motion for new trial. (See Part 2 of 11.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.