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Bennett v. Robertson

Supreme Court of Vermont. November Term, 1933
Jan 10, 1934
169 A. 901 (Vt. 1934)


Opinion filed January 10, 1934.

New Trial — Motion To Set Aside Verdict as Inadequate — Discretion of Trial Court.

1. To warrant interference by trial court on ground of inadequacy of damages awarded, verdict must be grossly inadequate.

2. Motion to set verdict aside for inadequacy is addressed to trial court's discretion, and its action thereon will not be reversed unless abuse of discretion or its equivalent affirmatively appears.

3. In action of tort for negligence, evidence held not to show abuse of discretion by trial court in granting plaintiff's motion to set aside verdict as inadequate.

ACTION OF TORT for negligence. Plea, general issue. Trial by jury at the March Term, 1933, Washington County, Bicknell, J., presiding. Verdict for plaintiff to recover $500. Plaintiff's motion before judgment to set aside verdict granted. The defendant excepted. The opinion states the case. Affirmed.

Marcell Conway for the defendant.

J. Ward Carver for the plaintiff.


Having obtained a verdict for $500 damages in this action for personal injuries resulting from an automobile accident, the plaintiff filed a motion to set it aside for inadequacy. This motion was granted, the verdict was set aside; and a new trial on all issues was ordered. The defendant excepted.

There can be no disagreement regarding the law involved. It is all found in Parizo v. Wilson, 101 Vt. 514, 144 A. 856. To warrant interference by the trial court on the ground of inadequacy of the damages awarded, the verdict must be grossly inadequate. The application for relief is addressed to the trial court's discretion; and this Court cannot reverse its action thereon, unless an abuse of discretion or its equivalent affirmatively appears.

There was evidence tending to show that, in addition to minor injuries proximately resulting from the accident in question, the plaintiff suffered a serious and permanent injury to her left knee, which causes her severe and constant pain and loss of function. That this condition impairs her ability to perform her household duties, requires frequent intervals of complete rest, and that these conditions will grow worse as the years go by.

It is certain that this evidence indicates strongly that the award was not reasonably adequate, and we cannot say that an abuse of discretion is shown.

Judgment affirmed, and cause remanded.

Summaries of

Bennett v. Robertson

Supreme Court of Vermont. November Term, 1933
Jan 10, 1934
169 A. 901 (Vt. 1934)
Case details for

Bennett v. Robertson

Case Details


Court:Supreme Court of Vermont. November Term, 1933

Date published: Jan 10, 1934


169 A. 901 (Vt. 1934)
169 A. 901

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