JAMES JOHNSON AND WIFE, ELAINE JOHNSON v. THE TORRINGTON COMPANY, ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jun 22, 2012

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

James Campbell Bradshaw, Michael David Hornback, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, The Torrington Company.

Attorneys 2:

George Benson Boston, Christopher V. Sockwell, Ryan Perry Durham, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, for the appellees, James Johnson and wife, Elaine Johnson.

Judge(s): COTTRELL

The plaintiff was severely injured while working on the premises of his employer. Because the employer was immune from liability in tort under the Workers’ Compensation statutes, the employee’s negligence suit named as defendants two other companies whose equipment was implicated in his injury. After a five-day trial, the jury found that the employer was solely at fault for the plaintiff’s injuries, resulting in no award. The plaintiff then filed a motion for new trial. The trial court granted the motion ten months after it was filed, declaring that in his capacity as the thirteenth juror he had found the verdict to be against the weight of the evidence. The case was tried before a second jury, which reached a different verdict, finding that one of the defendant companies was 90% at fault for the plaintiff’s injury while the plaintiff himself was 10% at fault. The net verdict for the plaintiff amounted to $2,925,000. The defendant company argues on appeal that the trial court erred in vacating the first jury verdict, that the second jury verdict was “contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence,” and that the amount of the verdict was excessive. We affirm the jury verdict and the judgment based on it.

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