When is a New Trial Necessary on Damages Only?

In Naquin v. Elevating Boats, LLC, the Fifth Circuit found that the verdict and resulting judgment in a Jones Act case erroneously included compensation for mental anguish from seeing the death of another person.  No. 12-31258 (March 10, 2014).  The Court disposed of the case as follows: “[S]erious practical problems would be presented at trial if we were to save some elements of the damage award and retry only other elements of damage.  ‘Where, as here, the jury’s findings on questions relating to liability were based on sufficient evidence and made in accordance with law, it is proper to order a new trial only as to damages.’  We therefore retain the jury’s liability finding but order a new trial on damages.”  (quoting Hadra v. Herman Blum Consulting Engineers, 632 F.2d 1242, 1246 (5th Cir. 1980)).

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