A motion for directed verdict is a prerequisite to judgment notwithstanding the verdict.
While staying at a resort, a guest was assaulted by an intruder. The guest brought a negligence cause of action against the resort. The district court found in favor of resort. On appeal, the court first held that the district court correctly denied the guest's motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict because the guest failed to move for a directed verdict on the issue of the resort's negligence, and because the evidence was not sufficient to support a directed verdict.
Was it required for the guest to move for a directed verdict on the issue of the resort's negligence?
The court found that plaintiff did not offer proof that the incident could have been prevented by precautions of reasonable cost and efficacy, or that defendant failed to provide the standard of care imposed upon defendant to protect its guests from assaults. The jury reasonably could have deemed plaintiff careless when she left the glass door in the room unlocked. The court rejected plaintiff's challenge to the contributory negligence jury instruction, and endorsed the district court's exclusion of evidence related to defendant's security history and procedures. The court affirmed the judgment.