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The Florida Senate

2009 Florida Statutes

Remittitur and additur actions arising out of operation of motor vehicles.
Section 768.043, Florida Statutes 2009

768.043  Remittitur and additur actions arising out of operation of motor vehicles.--

(1)  In any action for the recovery of damages based on personal injury or wrongful death arising out of the operation of a motor vehicle, whether in tort or in contract, wherein the trier of fact determines that liability exists on the part of the defendant and a verdict is rendered which awards money damages to the plaintiff, it shall be the responsibility of the court, upon proper motion, to review the amount of such award to determine if such amount is clearly excessive or inadequate in light of the facts and circumstances which were presented to the trier of fact. If the court finds that the amount awarded is clearly excessive or inadequate, it shall order a remittitur or additur, as the case may be. If the party adversely affected by such remittitur or additur does not agree, the court shall order a new trial in the cause on the issue of damages only.

(2)  In determining whether an award is clearly excessive or inadequate in light of the facts and circumstances presented to the trier of fact and in determining the amount, if any, that such award exceeds a reasonable range of damages or is inadequate, the court shall consider the following criteria:

(a)  Whether the amount awarded is indicative of prejudice, passion, or corruption on the part of the trier of fact.

(b)  Whether it clearly appears that the trier of fact ignored the evidence in reaching the verdict or misconceived the merits of the case relating to the amounts of damages recoverable.

(c)  Whether the trier of fact took improper elements of damages into account or arrived at the amount of damages by speculation or conjecture.

(d)  Whether the amount awarded bears a reasonable relation to the amount of damages proved and the injury suffered.

(e)  Whether the amount awarded is supported by the evidence and is such that it could be adduced in a logical manner by reasonable persons.

(3)  It is the intent of the Legislature to vest the trial courts of this state with the discretionary authority to review the amounts of damages awarded by a trier of fact, in light of a standard of excessiveness or inadequacy. The Legislature recognizes that the reasonable actions of a jury are a fundamental precept of American jurisprudence and that such actions should be disturbed or modified only with caution and discretion. However, it is further recognized that a review by the courts in accordance with the standards set forth in this section provides an additional element of soundness and logic to our judicial system and is in the best interests of the citizens of Florida.

History.--s. 41, ch. 77-468; s. 283, ch. 79-400.