Choose a Topic

View Our Case Results
Kelley/Uustal Practice Areas

Meadowbrook Meat Co., Inc. v. Michael Catinella, et al., Case No. 2D13-1295 (2ndDCA)

In Meadowbrook, the Second DCA affirmed the trial court's order granting a new trial after the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant in a slip and fall case. Following entry of the verdict, the plaintiff moved for a new trial arguing that the defendant had destroyed evidence and committed various discovery violations, and that two jurors had engaged in misconduct by failing disclose material information. The trial court granted the motion.

On appeal, the Second DCA noted that the trial court has broad discretion in deciding whether to override a jury verdict on the ground that the verdict is contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence. The Second DCA further noted that an order granting a new trial is subject to a heightened abuse of discretion standard. It takes a stronger showing to reverse an order granting a new trial than an order denying a new trial. The applicable standard with respect to an order granting a new trial is whether reasonable persons could differ as to the propriety of the trial judge's action. If they could, then the order is reasonable and not an abuse of the judge's discretion.

The Second DCA noted that the trial court's order was lengthy and detailed. The trial court found that during the course of the case, the defendant had destroyed evidence, requiring the court to give the jury an adverse instruction, and the defendant had violated a number of court orders, engaged in systematic material, willful discovery violations to the prejudice of the plaintiff. The trial court additionally found that two jurors failed to disclose litigation history that was relevant and material. The Second DCA additionally noted that the defendant did not argue that the trial court's findings were not supported by the evidence; rather, the defendant argued that the trial court's findings did not warrant a new trial. The Second DCA concluded that the trial court did not abuse its discretion, and affirmed the trial court's ruling.


Recognized as One of the Nation's Best Law Firms

Don't just take our word for it. See it for yourself.

Client Reviews & Testimonials
  • AV Peer Review Rated
  • Florida Super Lawyers
  • South Florida Top Rated Lawyers
  • Best Law Firms
  • The Best Lawyers in America
  • The National Trial Lawyers - Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • South Florida Business Journal - 2017  Best Places to Work
  • Sun Sentinel - 2017 Top Work Places
© 2014 All Rights Reserved The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.