Alonso v. Ford Motor Company, ___ So. 3d ___, 36 Fla. L. Weekly D235 (Fla. 3d DCA 2/2/11)
The appellate court affirmed the denial of the plaintiff’s motion for new trial based upon the misconduct of the jury. The plaintiff alleged that the jury engaged in premature deliberations, that one juror capitulated in the verdict because of health concerns, and that another juror was intoxicated during the trial. The claim of premature deliberations was based upon the subjective belief of a single juror, but the jury deliberated for over three hours after the juror formed that belief. In addition, each juror was polled after the verdict was returned. The juror who supposedly capitulated in the verdict did not notify the trial court of concerns about his health, ask for a break in the deliberations, or consult with a doctor after completing jury duty. Rather, ten days after the verdict was rendered, the juror “apprised the appellant’s attorney and the trial court of his concern that his blood pressure had ‘gone ballistic’ during deliberations.” Finally, the trial judge gave careful consideration to the allegation of juror intoxication, but there was an absence of clear evidence that the juror was impaired in the performance of his duties.