Illinois Appellate Court Affirms Jury Verdict, Denied Request for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict and a New Trial, But Did Grant a Request for Remittitur

Sherri Miyagi, a dentist, was visiting a Walgreens pharmacy when she was injured by a hand truck operated by an employee of the defendant, Dean Transportation Inc. Dr. Miyagi filed a complaint, alleging negligence and respondeat superior against the defendant, Dean. Before the start of the jury trial, Dean admitted its negligence and a trial was held on the issues of causation and damages to the four elements of negligence.

Following the trial, the jury signed a verdict in favor of Dr. Miyagi for $2.4 million in noneconomic damages, $300,000 for past medical expenses, and $7.3 million for future medical expenses.

The defendant, Dean, filed a post-trial motion, seeking judgment notwithstanding the verdict, a new trial on all issues, a new trial on damages only, or in the alternative, a remittitur of all but $5,703.68 of the future medical expenses awarded by the jury. The trial court denied defendant’s request for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict and for a new trial. The trial court did, however, grant defendant’s request for a remittitur, but in the amount of $3.65 million, which represented 50% of the jury award for future medical expenses.

The appellate court found that the trial judge properly denied Dean’s request for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and for a new trial, and properly granted the request for a remittitur, but for only 50% of the jury award for future medical expenses.

The evidence also showed that Dr. Miyagi’s injury was permanent and progressive.  A jury is given great deference and discretion in rendering a verdict, and the court is given the same deference in entering remittitur on the verdict, the appeals panel wrote.

The Appellate Court found that expert testimony as to the express cost of the future medical expenses in this case was not necessary. Remittitur was within the range of what the evidence would reasonably support.

Accordingly, the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the trial court’s finding and the jury verdict stands with the remittitur for future medical expenses.

Miyagi v. Dean Transportation Inc., 2019 IL App (1st) 172933 (June 20, 2019) Cook County, Illinois, 4th Division.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling premises liability lawsuits, forklift injury lawsuits, workplace injury lawsuits, wrongful death cases and traumatic brain injury lawsuits for individuals, families and loved ones who have been injured, harmed or killed by the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Westchester, Lombard, Elmhurst, Northlake, Melrose Park, Morton Grove, Lincolnwood, Hoffman Estates, Wheeling, Northbrook, Glencoe, Chicago (Logan Square, Douglas Park, Little Village, Back of the Yards, River North, Little Village, Edgewater, Uptown, Logan Square, Near North Side, Old Town, Belmont Cragin, Old Irving Park), River Grove, Elmwood Park, Franklin Park, Frankfort and Norridge, Ill.

Robert D. Kreisman has been an active member of the Illinois and Missouri bars since 1976.

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