TORTS: MOTOR VEHICLE NEGLIGENCE: PERSONAL INJURY: DAMAGES: NON-ECONOMIC DAMAGES: INADEQUATE VERDICT; CIVIL PROCEDURE: NEW TRIAL: APPEALS: PRESERVATION: APPELLATE COURT AFFIRMS ORDER GRANTING NEW TRIAL ON NON-ECONOMIC DAMAGES ONLY BECAUSE DEFENDANT ARGUED FOR FIRST TIME ON APPEAL THAT NEW TRIAL SHOULD EXTEND TO LIABILITY AND DAMAGES

Witherell v. Larimer, ___ So. 3d ___, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D2574 (Fla. 5th DCA December 12, 2014)

The jury, in a motor vehicle negligence case in which the issue of liability was vigorously contested, found that the parties were equally at fault and awarded past economic damages of $88,749.84 and non-economic damages of $0. When the trial court instructed the jury to award non-economic damages, the jury returned with a verdict for $1. The plaintiff moved for additur or a new trial on non-economic damages, and the defendant argued that the verdict should be upheld. The trial court denied the motion for additur but granted the motion for new trial on non-economic damages. The defendant argued for the first time on appeal that a new trial should extend to the issue of liability, but the appellate court affirmed because the defendant failed to preserve this issue by raising it in the trial court.

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