Kenton v. Hyatt Hotels Corp.

693 S.W.2d 83 (Mo. 1985)

 

RULE:

There is no exact formula to determine whether a verdict is excessive; each case is considered on its own facts. The ultimate test is what fairly and reasonably compensates plaintiff for the injuries sustained. In making this determination consideration is given to the nature and extent of the injuries, diminished earning capacity, economic conditions, plaintiff's age, and a comparison of the compensation awarded and permitted in cases of comparable injuries.

FACTS:

An injured guest was awarded compensatory damages in the amount of $ 4,000,000 for injuries sustained by the collapse of suspended skywalks in the hotel. The hotel filed a motion for a new trial which was sustained when injured guest accepted a remittitur. The hotel challenged the verdict and the remittitur.

ISSUE:

Did the trial court abuse its discretion in ordering a remittitur because the jury’s award for compensatory damages was excessive?

ANSWER:

Yes.

CONCLUSION:

The court held that remittitur was no longer applicable in the state. Thus, the trial court abused its discretion in ordering a remittitur. The court also held that the original judgment was appropriate because the jury was entitled to consider the intangibles of the evidence of injured guest's past and future pain and suffering, the destruction of her previous lifestyle, along with the evidence of economic loss.

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