Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Standards for Setting Aside a Jury Verdict in New York State Court under CPLR 4404(a)

From Christ v Law Offices of Levine & Grossman, 2010 NY Slip Op 3056, 2010 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 3024 (2d Dept. April 13, 2010):

To be awarded judgment as a matter of law pursuant to CPLR 4404(a), a defendant has the burden of establishing that there is no rational process by which the jury could find for the plaintiff against the moving defendant (see Broadie v St. Francis Hosp., 25 AD3d 745, 746; Wong v Tang, 2 AD3d 840; Biggs v Mary Immaculate Hosp, 303 AD2d 702, 703). The plaintiff's evidence must be accepted as true, and the plaintiff is entitled to every favorable inference which can reasonably be drawn from the evidence (see Broadie v St. Francis Hosp. , 25 AD3d at 746). ***

A jury verdict should not be set aside as contrary to the weight of the evidence unless the jury could not have reached its verdict by any fair interpretation of the evidence (see Lolik v Big V Supermarkets, 86 NY2d 744; Nicastro v Park, 113 AD2d 129, 134). Whether a jury verdict should be set aside as contrary to the weight of the evidence does not involve a question of law, but rather, requires a discretionary balancing of many factors (see Cohen v Hallmark Cards, 45 NY2d 493, 499). It is for the trier of fact to make determinations as to the credibility of the witnesses, and great deference is accorded to the factfinders, who had the opportunity to see and hear the witnesses (see Bertelle v New York City Tr. Auth., 19 AD3d 343).

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