Mader v. Duquesne Light Co.

In Mader v. Duquesne Light Co., the Pennsylvania Supreme Court considered the limits on a trial court’s discretion to order a new trial on all damages where a jury’s award on certain damages was based on stipulations or was otherwise unimpeachable. The Court held that a jury’s award of certain types of damages may be distinct and independent of the award of other types of damages so that it is within the discretion of the trial court to award a new trial on all damages or only certain damages.  In doing so, however, a trial court should consider whether the properly awarded damages were fairly determined, and, if so, the interrelatedness of the types of damages and whether the proper damages award can stand independent of the erroneously awarded (or erroneously not awarded) damages. In the case before the Court, the Superior Court correctly reversed the trial court because the record supported the jury’s award of damages for past and future medical expenses.

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