Greater latitude is allowed a trial court in granting a new trial than in denying a new trial.
A widow filed suit for the recovery of $30,000 for the wrongful death of her husband and to seek reimbursement for medical and funeral expenses necessarily incurred by her as the result of the injury and death of her husband. The matter went to trial. A single verdict form was submitted to the jury, and neither party objected. The jury returned a verdict for the widow, but the verdict only represented a single sum and did not state for which count it was awarded. The trial court denied the defendant's motion for a J.N.O.V. Defendant moved for a new trial a month later, which was granted. Both parties appealed to the Appellate Court of Illinois.
Was it proper to grant the motion for new trial?
The court found the fact that there were two separate counts to the suit required that there should have been two separate verdict forms. Thus, the motion for a new trial was properly granted and the grant was not an abuse of discretion. The court also found that the denial of J.N.O.V. was proper.