In a recent appellate decision Florida’s 4th District Court of Appeal rendered a lengthy opinion concerning the remittitur doctrine. This doctrine has been part of Florida Law for decades. Basically, it allows the trial judge to reduce jury verdicts when the court surmises that a jury may have rendered damages that were excessive.
In this particular case of Arnold v. Security National Insurance Company, 40 FLW D2153, decided on September 16, 2015, the court reversed the remittitur of damages, since the judge did not specifically indicate in its Order, the exact reasons and justifications for the remittitur. They construed Fla. Rule of Civil Procedure 1.530(f) mandating that a trial court must state specific findings demonstrating the necessity of reducing a verdict according to Florida law. upon demand, the court may reinstate the actual jury verdict or state specific reasons why it reduced in the first place. Remittitur is rarely used, but it is more or less a governor on the system to preclude runaway jury verdicts. Likewise, the doctrine of additur allows a trial judge to add to a verdict where a jury may have ignored evidence in trial.
To read more, visit Florida Law Weekly.