Standard for Review of General Damage Awards on Appeal

The initial inquiry is whether the award for the particular injuries and their effects under the particular circumstances on the particular injured person is a clear abuse of the much discretion of the trier of fact. Only after such a determination of an abuse of discretion is a resort to prior awards appropriate and then only for the purpose of determining the highest or lowest point which is reasonably within that discretion. Youn v. Maritime Overseas, Corp., 92-3017 (La. 9/3/93); 623 So. 2d 1257, 1260-61. The standard for appellate review of general damage awards is difficult to express and is necessarily non-specific, and the requirement of an articulated basis for disturbing such awards gives little guidance as to what articulation suffices to justify modification of an excessive award. The discretion vested in the trier of fact is great and even vast, and an appellate court should rarely disturb an award of general damages. It is only when the award is, in either direction beyond that which a reasonable trier of fact could assess for the effects of the particular injury to the particular plaintiff under the particular circumstances that the appellate court should increase or reduce the award. Youn, 623 So. 2d at 1263.