Boston, MA – In a case of first impression in Massachusetts, the Supreme Judicial Court (the Commonwealth's highest court) affirmed a trial court's decision resulting in an over $500,000 judgment for the plaintiff after trial and appeal.
The case arose out of an automobile accident in which a Comcast van collided with the plaintiff's vehicle, causing severe personal injury to the plaintiff. After a trial in which each party claimed the other was at fault for the accident, a jury rendered a verdict for the plaintiff of $193,278. The trial judge granted the plaintiff's motion for a new trial unless the defendant accepted a $400,000 additur (an amount added to the verdict because the damages were insufficient to compensate the plaintiff). The defendant Comcast accepted the additur and then appealed on several grounds, including that the additur was incorrectly awarded by the trial judge.
The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment in favor of the plaintiff in all respects, and held for the first time in Massachusetts that after a defendant has accepted an additur, it may not then appeal on the grounds that the trial court's decision to award the additur was wrong. The trial and appeal were handled by a team led by Attorney Robert W. Casby of the Boston law firm SUGARMAN and SUGARMAN, P.C.
The opinion can be found at Baudanza v. Comcast, 454 Mass. 622 (2009).