Can You Request a New Trial If You Did Not Object to the Jury's Verdict Before the Jury's Dismissal ?
In Picca v. Kriner, 435 Pa. Super. 297, 645 A.2d 868 (Pa. Super. 1994), the Court held that a plaintiff who failed to object to the jury's verdict before the jury's dismissal was barred from requesting a new trial.
Picca involved a motor vehicle accident where the defendant admitted fault in causing the accident but contested the extent of the plaintiff's injuries.
At the conclusion of the trial, the jury was directed to enter its verdict via special interrogatories.
The first interrogatory related to a finding of negligence.
The jury was instructed to find in favor of the plaintiff because the defendant had admitted fault.
The second interrogatory related to a finding of causation.
The jury was asked whether the defendant's negligence was a substantial factor in bringing about plaintiff's injuries.
The jury answered in favor of the defendant.
The plaintiff failed to object to the jury's verdict.
The plaintiff filed a post-trial motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict or a new trial.
The trial court granted the latter finding that a verdict which found the defendant to have caused no injury to be incredible.
The defendant appealed and claimed that the plaintiff waived her right to ask for a new trial by failing to object to the problems with the verdict before the jury was dismissed.
The Court agreed with the defendant and reversed the trial court.