Kesner v. Trenton

In Kesner v. Trenton, 158 W. Va. 997, 216 S.E.2d 880 (1975), the jury found for the plaintiff on the question of liability where plaintiff's two daughters drowned in a lake operated by the defendant. The jury awarded only funeral expenses, and the circuit court awarded new trials on the ground that the verdicts were inadequate as a matter of law. The defendant appealed and argued that the trial court is forbidden to set aside a verdict in a wrongful death action on the ground of inadequacy alone. The Court agreed. The Court first noted that it had been "definite and consistent in its view to limit review of jury verdicts in death cases," recognizing "that the jury's enlightened conscience is the sole measure of damages." Kesner, 158 W. Va. at 1007, 216 S.E.2d at 886.