Legal Memorandum: Motion for Remittitur in VI

Issue: What is the standard for deciding a motion for remittitur in the Virgin Islands?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Motion for remittitur; Jury's award
Jurisdiction: Virgin Islands
Cited Cases: 273 F.3d 346; 617 F.3d 688; 806 F.2d 1198
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 07/01/2012

A recent Superior Court opinion sets forth the standard for deciding a motion for remittitur in the Virgin Islands. 

In the exercise of discretion, a Court may use its remittitur power to reduce a jury award.  A remittitur is a device “employed when the trial judge finds that a decision of the jury is clearly unsupported and/or excessive.”  “[T]he issue to be decided here ‘is not the size of the award alone, but the evidence supporting the award'”  In other words, “[a] remittitur is in order when a trial judge concludes that a jury verdict is ‘clearly unsupported’ by the evidence and exceeds the amount needed to make the plaintiff whole[.]”


Matta v. Majestic Constr., Inc., No. ST-07-CV-109, 2011 V.I. LEXIS 43, at **1-2 (V.I. Super Ct. July 26, 2011) (quoting Evans v. Port Auth. of N.Y. & N.J., 273 F.3d 346, 357 (3d Cir. 2001); Cortez v. Trans Union, LLC, 617 F.3d 688, 715-16 (3d Cir. 2010); Blakey v. Continental Airlines, Inc., 992 F. Supp. 731, 737 (D.N.J. 1998); Starceski v. Westinghouse Elec. Corp., 54 F.3d 1089, 1100 (3d Cir. 1995).  See also Spence v. Board of Educ. of Christina School Dist., 806 F.2d 1198, 1201 (3d Cir. 1986) (remittitur was proper when court found that “the award of damages . . . was wholly speculative given the limited quality and quantity of proof that plaintiff submitted on the issue”); Marrero v. United Indus., Servs. […]

Subscribe to Litigation Pathfinder

To get the full-text of this Legal Memorandum ... and more!

(Month-to-month and annual subscriptions available)