Orr v. Crowder

In Orr v. Crowder, 173 W. Va. 335, 315 S.E.2d 593, 607 (W.Va.Ct.App. 1983), the court explained: "we fail to see the logic of a rule that requires a general verdict supported by one good theory of liability to be set aside. We are aware of no presumption that requires a court to assume that the jury has returned the verdict on the cause of action that was not supported by sufficient evidence. It must be remembered that in a civil case the burden of proof in order to prevail is only by a preponderance of the evidence." On the question of prejudice the court wrote: Any supposed unfairness to the defendants arising from the adoption of the rule that permits the general verdict to be upheld if there is one valid cause of action to support it is cured by an additional corollary: that a defendant may submit a special interrogatory or verdict to require the jury to state its finding as to each theory. E.g., Codekas v. Dyna-Lift Co., 48 Cal. App. 3d 20, 121 Cal. Rptr. 121 (1975); Colonial Stores, Inc. v. Scarbrough, 355 So. 2d 1181 (Fla 1978). Id.