In a recent personal injury case, the Pennsylvania Superior Court stated that the issue was whether the trial court should have allowed a new trial on the damages issue, which would mean that the verdict was so inadequate it should have shocked the trial court’s sense of justice. The court reviewed the considerations that aid a determination that a verdict is inadequate, such as whether the verdict fails to provide justice to the plaintiff and whether it is so inadequate it should not be permitted to stand. The appellate court found that in this case, the jury verdict was not shocking, nor was the refusal to grant a new trial.
Kimberly Folino brought a lawsuit against Nathaniel Kaule and his father, Michael Kaule, on the ground that Nathaniel negligently operated Michael’s plumbing truck when he rear-ended her new SUV. Liability was not seriously contested, and the main jury issue was both economic and non-economic damages for the plaintiff, Ms. Folino.
Ms. Folino alleged that she suffered bodily injuries, including a herniated disc that had not resolved and a concussion that had. Two medical witnesses testified as to the causal relationship between the collision and Ms. Folino’s injuries. The evidence stated that Ms. Folino suffered setbacks due to work-related activities and that these setbacks affected her ability to do her job, since her job entailed heavy lifting.