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Florida Second DCA rules that trial court committed reversible error in denying plaintiff’s new trial motion by not expressly ruling on whether trial verdict was against the manifest weight of the evidence

On March 17, 2021, in Lively v. Grandhige, et al., No. 2D19-1713, the Florida Second DCA reversed a trial court order denying a plaintiff’s motion for a new trial in a medical negligence case on the basis that the defense verdict was against the manifest weight of the evidence. The issue on appeal was whether the trial court had applied the correct legal standard in ruling on the motion. The trial court announced its ruling in open court making both factual findings and legal conclusions, specifically finding that the court did not find the testimony of the defendant’s main expert credible but concluding that the court had no authority to “overrule” him under Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013, 1014 (D.C. Cir. 1923). However, the court made no express finding as to whether the verdict was against the manifest weight of the evidence. The Second DCA reversed and remanded with instructions for the trial court to consider and enter a ruling on the motion for new trial applying the proper legal standard.

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