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Geressy v. Dig. Equip. Corp. - 980 F. Supp. 640 (E.D.N.Y. 1997)

Rule:

When the motion pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 59 for a new trial is based on newly discovered evidence, the criteria for granting is: (1) the evidence was newly discovered since the trial, (2) the moving party was diligent in discovering the new evidence; (3) the newly discovered evidence could not be merely cumulative or impeaching; (4) the newly discovered evidence was material; and (5) that a new trial, with the newly discovered evidence, will probably produce a different result.

Facts:

Plaintiffs Geressy, Jackson and Rotolo claimed that use of Digital's LK201 computer keyboard caused repetitive stress injuries (RSI) in suits commenced on March 16, 1994. Their husbands alleged loss of consortium. The jury returned a verdict in favor of all plaintiffs on failure to warn claims, rejecting negligent design claims and declining to award punitive damages. Defendant manufacturer filed a motion for judgment as a matter of law, motion for a new trial, and remittitur.

Issue:

Should the manufacturer’s motion for judgment as a matter of law, motion for a new trial, and remittitur be granted?

Answer:

Yes.

Conclusion:

The United States District Court granted defendant manufacturer’s Rule 59 motion for a new trial with respect to one claim based upon a newly discovered medical report that indicated that the injury was non-industrial. The report satisfied all of the factors for granting a new trial under Rule 59. The Court also found that a remittitur of that jury award would have been proper nevertheless because the award materially deviated from what would be reasonable compensation. On the third injured party's claim, the motion for judgment as a matter of law was granted because the claim was barred by the statute of limitations.

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