Maryland Accident Lawyer Analysis of Monongahela R. Co. v. Black, 235 F.2d 406 (4th Cir. 1956)
This 4th Circuit case contains great language attorneys in Maryland personal injury cases trying to fend off a remittitur. This case involved a car accident where the Plaintiff suffered personal injuries and lost wages when he was struck by a moving freight car. Plaintiff was struck on his right side, receiving the greatest impact in his chest. As a result, Plaintiff spent twelve days in the hospital where his chest was bound. He was given opiates and injections to relieve his pain. After leaving the hospital, he continued to have pain in his chest and left knee. It was later discovered that he had a torn cartilage in his left knee as a result of the accident, and he returned to the hospital for yet another twelve days to have the cartilage removed.
When plaintiff finally got out of the hospital, he had to use crutches for six weeks and keep his knee bound. He underwent deep heat therapy twice a week for fourteen months following the injury. During this period he wore a harness around his chest to aid his breathing and to relieve his pain. He was out of work for five months, incurring $ 2,400 in wages. The jury awarded the Plaintiff $21,400. Of course, this does not sound like just compensation for this accident given the extent of these injuries but obviously, this was a lot of money in 1956 in West Virginia.
In considering the remittitur question on appeal, the Fourth Circuit quotes language from a West Virginia state case: The court is unanimous in the view that the verdict is probably excessive; but a majority is of the opinion that, in view of the well known rule that the verdict of a jury will not be disturbed except where it plainly appears to have resulted from mistake, partiality, passion, prejudice or lack of due consideration, the excess finding is not such as would warrant a reversal of the judgment and a setting aside of the verdict on that ground.
If you get hit with a remittitur motion after a good win, you pretty much need