Civil Procedure Keyed to Friedenthal
Gasperini v. Center for Humanities, Inc
Gasperini (Plaintiff) sued Center for Humanities (Defendant) in federal court based on diversity of citizenship. The jury returned a verdict for Plaintiff of $450,000 in compensatory damages. Defendant moved for a new trial, arguing that the verdict was excessive. The District Court denied the motion. The Second Circuit vacated the judgment based on a New York law allowing the New York Appellate Division to determine that an award is excessive or inadequate if it “materially deviates from what is reasonable compensation.” The Second Circuit reasoned that the standard used to determine the verdict was not sufficient, and ordered a new trial unless Plaintiff accepted a lower amount. Plaintiff appealed.
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