Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

as to provocation, in mitigation of damages. pensation for damages which he might havo “The general rule is that anything which is partly caused by his own conduct. "Malico a complete answer to the action must be and provocation in the defendant are pun. pleaded either in bar or in justification; but ished by inflicting damages exceeding the it is also well settled in many cases that mat. measure of compensation, and in the plaintiff ters which go to the quantum of damages, by giving him less than that measure." merely to palliate the character of the of. Robison v. Rupert, 23 Pa. 523. fense, or to mitigate the amount which the As to the matter of the setting aside of the jury may award, may be given in evidence verdict by his honor because of inadequacy of under the general issue." Sedgw. Damages, damages, this is, so far as we can find, the 546. In Fraser v. Berkeley, 7 Car. & P. 621, first case in the history of judicial proceed. Lord Abinger said: "In actions for personal ings in the state; and it may be further said wrongs and injuries (at nisi prius), a deo that it has been generally thought that our fendant who does not deny that the verdict courts could not set aside a verdict for inmust pass against him may give evidence to adequacy of damages. Nevertheless it may show that the plaintiff in some degree brought be said to be true that it is generally conthe thing upon himself.” That is the rule sidered that there is no reason which can be applicable to the case before us. If this advanced in favor of setting aside verdicts were not the rule, the plaintiff, in actions because of excessive damages which does not like the one before us, might get full com-' apply to setting them aside for inadequacy loss of rentals. Jones v. Metropolitan Elev. R. to put them in good order and condition. Co. 27 Jones & S. 437, 14 N. Y. Supp. 632. Bloomingdale v. Steubing, 10 Misc. 229, 30 N.

And a new trial may be granted for inade- | Y. Supp. 1056. quacy of damages, in an action to abate a nul- But while a new trial could not be granted sance and to recover damages occasioned there- for smallness of damages in trespass at comby. Lefrois v. Monroe County, 88 Hun, 109, mon law it may be under 1 Va. Rev. Code 1819, 34 N. Y. Supp. 612.

chap. 128, § 96, p. 510. Jackson v. Boast, 2 So, a verdict of a jury in an action of eject. Va. Cas. 49. ment, finding for the plaintiff but allowing him The judgment of witnesses as to value, how. Do damages, will be set aside and a new trial

ever,

is not as a matter of law to be accepted awarded, where there was no question as to his by the jury in place of their own, and a party being entitled to mesne profits, and their value against whom damages are assessed by a jury was fixed by the testimony. Duncan V. Jack-cannot complain that such damages have been KON, 16 Fla. 338.

placed at a lower sum than fixed by the wil. Add a verdict for the plaintif for nominal nesses. Powell v. Missouri P. R. Co. 59 Mo. damages in trespass to try title will be set aside App. 335. and a new trial granted where the right of the And a verdict in an action of trespass to try plaintic to recover the land was in question, title will not be set aside for inadequacy. and the defendant had been in possession for though the damages glven are less than those three years, and the land was proved to be fixed by the witnesses, and though the court Forth from $40 to $50 per annum. Duft v. agrees with the witnesses, where the amount of Hutson, 2 Ball. L. 215.

the damages was a mere matter of opinion witb So, a verdict for one cent in favor of the the witnesses growing out of circumstances upon plaintiff in an action for trespass for taking which the jury were as competent to express property from plaintiff's premises will be set an opinion as the witnesses themselves. Hop aside and a new trial granted, as the jury were kins v. Myers, Harp. L. 56. bound to find damages, at least to the value * But in Weeding v. Mason, 2 C. B. N. S. 382, of the property taken. Porteous v. Hazel, in which upon an execution of a writ of Inquiry Harp. L. 332.

In an action for dilapidations, surveyors called The general rule that a verdict in actions upon one side estimated the damages at a low sounding in damages will not be set aside on agure, and those called upon the other side at a account of excess or deficiency of the damages much higher figure, and the jury returned a ver. does not apply when a pecuniary injury has been dict for a much lower figure than that made sustained, the extent of which can be ascer by any of the surveyors, the inquisition was or. tained as in cases of trespass for destroying dered to be set aside without costs unless the a building the cost of which is clearly proved, defendant would consent to the entry of a ver. In which case the jury would have no power to dict equal to the smallest amount testified to by find a less

than the injury actually the surveyors. amounted to, though there might be an excep- See also Benzon v. Burlington & M. River R. tion, even in such a case, where a trespass was Co. 18 Neb. 659, 26 N. W. 467 ; Phillips v. Pbil. committed under circumstances of mitigation Ilps, 34 N. J. L. 208; Blanchard v. Loges, 11 or provocation on the part of the plaintiff which Neb. 460, I N. W. 568; Chicago, R. I. & T. R. bordered on a justification. Hopkins v. Myers, Co. v. Yarbrough (Tex. Civ. App.) 35 S. W. 1 Harp. L. 56.

422; Mostyn v. Coles, 7 Hurlst. & N. 872, 31 L. But the rule has been held to be different J. Exch. N. S. 151, 10 Week. Rep. 355 ; Hawk. with reference to a mere naked trespass. ins v. Alder, 18 C. B. 640; Learned v. Castle,

Thus, the court will not grant a new trial in 78 Cal. 454, 21 Pac. 11, 18 Pac. 872; Richards v. an action sounding in damages, as trespass, etc., Rose, 24 Eng. L. & Eq. 406, 9 Exch. 218, 23 L. because the jury assessed only half a farthing J. Exch. N. S. 3, 17 Jur. 1036, 2 C. L. Rep. 311, for damages, as it is in their power to assess infra, V.; and Engel v. Fischer, 44 III. App. such damages as they please in such a case. 362, supra, I. Marsbam v. Buller, 2 Rolle, Rep. 21. Vor will a verdict for the plaintiff for six

IV. Rule in actions for personal injuries. cents, in an action for trespass by a tenant

a. Generally. against his landlord, be set aside as inadequate wbere the plaintiff had abandoned the use of The earlier English cases, and some American the premises and the landlord merely entered cases, have made the broad statement of the

BUM

V.

of damages. It seems to be settled, upon injuries. In a recent English case (Phillips examination of numerous authorities, that v. Southwestern R. Co. (1879] L. R. 4 Q. B. at common law the courts claimed and had Div. 406), the common-law rule was relaxed. the power to set aside verdicts for inad. The action was for damages for personal inequacy of damages; but it further appears, juries sustained through the defendant's from the earlier cases, that it was most negligence, and there was a motion for a new seldom done. And, too, in the cases where trial on the ground of inadequacy of dam. such verdicts were set aside, they were ex- ages. It appeared upon the facts proved treme cases,-cases where the jury had been that the jury must have omitted to take into palpably influenced by caprice, or gross par consideration some of the matters involved tiality, or some other unworthy motive, and in the plaintiff's claim for damages. The where the damages did not amount, in point counsel for the defendant in that action conof fact, to damages at all, but were mere attended that a new trial could not be granted tempts to evade substantial damages. The on account of the damages being too small, English judges, however, as we have said, because the action was for unliquidated damdid not doubt their power to set aside such ages, unless there had been some misdirection verdicts, but declared in many cases that on the part of the judge or some misconduct they would not do it because they had no on the part of the jury. The court said: rule to go by. This was especially the case “We think the rule contended for has no apin actions of tort for damages for personal 'plication in a case of personal injury, and doctrine that as a general rule courts will not | It aside. Welch v. McAllister, 13 Mo. App. 89; set aside verdicts and grant new trials in ac-Chouquette v. Southern Electric R. Co. (Mo.) tions for tort on account of the smallness of 53 S. W. 897. the damages. Mauricet Brecknock, 2 And while in actions for personal torts and Dougl. 509 ; Queen v. Justices of West Riding actions sounding purely in damages courts will of Yorkshire, 1 Q. B. 624 ; Kennedy v. Wray, usually refuse to grant new trials for smallness 7 West. L. J. (Ohio) 414; Hackett v. Pratt, 52 of damages, it being the peculiar province of III. App. 346 ; Colyer v. Huff, 3 Bibb, 34. the jury in such cases to estimate the injury,

At common law new trials were not allowed relief will be granted where the finding is gross: upon the ground that the damages awarded by ly Inadequate and the compensation given entire the jury in actions for tort were insufficient, ly disproportionate to the injury proved to have at least in trespass ri et armis, and there is been sustained. Bishop v. Macon, 7 Ga. 200, 50 much anthority that the rule applied in all ac- Am. Dec. 400; Lefrois v. Monroe County, 88 tions for tort. Hackett v. Pratt, 52 Ill. App. IIun, 109, 34 N. Y. Supp. 612. 346.

And a new trial may be granted in an action So, in Burges v. Nightingale, Barnes' Notes, for damages where, the verdict of the jury up230, it was held that an inquisition upon a writ on the fact of responsibility being accepted as of inquiry will not be quashed by reason of the correct, the damages allowed are eltber in er. smallness of damages where the jury and any cess of or less than any amount which an indamages, but that the rule might be differeat partial and just enforcement of the responsibll. had they fouud no damages.

ity requires. Dobson v. Phlladelphia, 7 Pa. And in Lord Stafford's Case, Bull. N. P. 27, Dist. R. 321. cited in Duberley v. Gunning, 4 T. R. 655, the And a verdict for $125 in an action for damcourt, though they thought that the verdict of ages for personal injuries will be set aside and one shilling was much too small, did not feel a new trial ordered on the ground that the verwarranted in granting a new trial because they dictwas against the evidence, where the evl. had no rule to go by.

dence in the case makes it manifest that if And in Bourke v. Bulow, 1 Bay, 49, It was plaintiff was entitled to a verdict at all he was said that though the jury in an action sounding actually damaged in a much greater sum. Lough in damages might have given the plaintiff larger v. Romaine, 4 Jones & S. 332. damages, the court did not think it proper to set The rule that a verdict in an action for damaside a verdict because the damages were small ages for personal injuries will be set aside when In order that the plaintiff might have another no reasonable proportion exists between It and chance of getting more, and would not do it un the circumstances of the case is applicable to less very peculiar circumstances appeared to cases of inadequacy of damages, as well as where Justify It.

the damages are excessive. Beattie v. Moore, We have seen, however, from the cases in Ir. L. R. 2 Eq. 28. supra, III., that this rule does not apply to torts And a new trial will be granted in an action against property when there is a standard of for tort if the verdict is for an unreasonably measurement of the damages, and it seems to small amount of damages, and the damages are have been considerably modified, even with refer- capable of being definitely ascertained. Wilence to torts purely personal.

son v. Morgan, 58 N. J. L. 426, 34 Atl. 752. The rule laid down in Coffin v. Varlla, 8 Tex. A verdict for the plaintiff in an uction for Civ. App. 417, 27 S. W. 956, which was a case tort may be set aside for inadequacy where the of excessive damages, that courts will not set nature of the injury received and the means by aside verdicts in actions for personal injuries, which it was produced are such that the dameither on the ground that the damages are ex. ages may in a good measure be computed by cessive, or inadequate, unless it is apparent that estimating the loss of time, the expenditure inthe jury acted under some bias, prejudice, or im.curred, etc. Bailey V. Cincinnati, 1 Handy proper influence, or made some mistake of fact (Ohio) 438. or law, appears to be more accurate, at least And a verdict in an action for Injury to the from the more modern standpoint.

person awarding damages, so small as to be Thus, the general rule now is that where the inconsistent with the undisputed evidence, will verdict is either so great or so small as to indi. be set aside at the instance of the plaintit. cate that in rendering It the jury either disre- Miller v. Delaware, L. & W. R. Co. 58 N. J. L. gardeď the testimony or acted from passion or | 428, 33 Atl. 950. prejudice. It is the duty of the court to set And a verdict in an action for a collision,

that it is perfectly competent to us, if we we logically conclude that such power is disthink the damages unreasonably small, to or cretionary with them, and that it is not re. der a new trial at the instance of the plaintiff. viewable by us. The power to correct preju. There can be no doubt of the power of the diced and grossly unfair verdicts must be court to grant a new trial where in such an vested somewhere, and, in our judgment, it action the damages are excessive. There is best that such power be confided to the can be no reason why the same principle judges who preside over the trials. They should not apply where they are insufficient are presumed to be learned in the law, imto meet the justice of the case. The rule partial in their judgments, and upright in inust therefore be made absolute for a new their conduct, and, with most rare exceptrial."

tions, they have measured up to the standard There are conflicting decisions on this of that presumption. question in the courts of several of the states, As to the order contained in the judgment but we believe that the conclusion arrived in reference to the allotment of the homeat by the English court in the case quoted stead to the defendant, R. V. Collins, and the from is the correct conclusion, and we will sale of the excess by a commissioner, we see adopt it as the conclusion of this court. no error. The deed of conveyance from the Holding, then, as we do, that the superior defendant, R. V. Collins, and wife, to Eure courts of this state have the power to set was found to be fraudulent, and all the paraside verdicts for inadequacy of damages,' ties thereto, including the beneficiaries, were for less than half the amount of the expense have been given only in the most extreme cases. account for repairs to the carriage and continu- | Fawcett v. Woods. 5 Iowa, 400. ing the journey and for medicines and medical There is no certain rule by which damages attendance, to say nothing of personal injuries can be measured in actions of tort sounding received, will be set aside on motion of the entirely in damage, and the court will not in. plaintiff as inadequate. May v. Hahn (Tes. terfere, either on account of excessive or fusufCiv. App.) 54 S. W. 416.

ficient damages, unless the verdict is palpably So, a new trial must be granted, even in ac- wrong. Duncan V. Finnghorn, Sneed (Ky.) tions et delicto, where the jury has responded 262. only to a part of the demand made upon it by The general rule is that the court wiil not the law and evidence. Moseley v. Jamisou, 68 interfere in actions sounding altogether in damMiss. 336, 8 So. 744.

ages on account either of excess or deficiency of There is no inexorable rule of practice pre- the damages, except in cases where they are so cluding the granting of a new trial on the inconsiderable or so great as to excite a belief ground of the smallness of the damages; and that the jury have acted under an improper in. where the smallness of the damages shows that fluence. Hopkins v. Myers, Harp. L. 56. the jury may have made a compromise, and in- And a verdict in an action for damages for stead of deciding the issue submitted to them personal injuries should not be disturbed, thougb have agreed to find for the plaintiff for nominal the court may regard it as inadequate, unless damages only, a new trial will be granted, such something is shown which indicates that the a case being the same in effect as if the jury | jury were actuated by passion, prejudice, or corhad been discharged without a verdict. Beat. rupt motives, or that they made an important tie v. Moore, Ir. L. R. 2 Eq. 28; Kelly v. Sher- and manifest mistake. Lancaster v. Providence lock, L. R. 1 Q. B. 697, 6 Best & S. 480, 35 L. & S. S. S. Co. 26 Fed. Rep. 233. And see Reger J. Q. B. N. S. 209, 12 Jur. N. S. 937 ; Falvey v. v. Rochester R. Co. 2 App. Div. 5, 37 N. Y. Stanford, L. R. 10 Q. B. 54, 44 L. J. Q. B. N. S. Supp. 520, supra, I. 7, 23 Week. Rep. 162, 31 L. T. N. S. 677.

To justify the interference of the court with In Beattie v. Moore, Ir. L. R. 2 Eq. 28, supra, a verdict in an action for damages for personal Gibbs v. Tunaley, 1 C. B. 640, infra, IV. e, 1, injuries it must appear from the testimony that was distinguished and explained on the ground the damages awarded are so grossly disproporthat it appeared in that case that the judge tionate to the injury that in awarding them the told the jury that if they thought the defend. jury must have been influenced by a perverted ant bad been guilty of any degree of negligence Co. 85 Wis. 102, 55 N. W. 179; Robinscu v.

judgment. McDermott v. Chicago & N. W. R. the plaintiff would be entitled to nominal dam. ages, but that if they were of the opinion that Waupaca, 77 Wis. 544, 46 N. W. 809 ; Boggess the injury was attributable to the defendant's

v. Metropolitan Street R. Co. 118 Mo. 328, 23 carelessness and want of skill they ought to give 91 Mo. 547, 4 S. W. 437 ; Berry v. Lake Erie &

S. W. 139, 24 S. W. 210; Pritchard v. Hewitt, serious damages, and that the jury in finding w. R. Co. 72 Fed. Rep. 488. a farthing were merely following the direction

Or that there must have been mistake of the judge. So, the rule that a new trial will not be oversight in falling to take into consideration

the proper elements of damage in assessing the granted for the smallness of the damages, in an action founded upon tort sounding merely R. Co. 72 Fed. Rep. 488.

amount of recovery. Berry v. Lake Erie & W. in damages, does not apply to cages in which the verdict has been the result of contrivance

Where substantial damages are awarded in an by the defendant, or surprise on the plaintiff, of measurement of the damages, the verdict

action for tort in which there is no fixed rule or the partiality or misconduct of the jury.will not be set aside and a new trial awarded Colger v. Huff, 3 Bibb, 34, dictum.

merely because the amount is less than the court But where there is no measure of damages thinks ought to have been given. Ibid.; WalkIn a case of tort, the court will be slow to Inter.

er v. Smith, 1 Wash. C. C. 202, Fed. Cas. No. fere with a verdict on the ground of inadequacy 17,087; Fawcett v. Woods, 5 Iowa, 400 ; Reger If It can see any reasonable ground to support v. Rochester R. Co. 2 App. Div. 5, 37 It. Beattie v. Moore, Ir. L. R. 2 Eg. 28.

Supp. 520 ; Brooks v. Ludin, 1 N. Y. Supp. 338, In actions sounding in tort a wide latitude aflirmed in 25 Jones & S. 145, 6 N. Y. Supp. is given to juries, and courts will Interfere with 510. a verdict because it may be less than should And a new trial will not be granted merely

ог

[ocr errors]

before the court. The court, as a court of act.” That the clerk was instructed by his equity, got control of the lands conveyed in honor to appoint the three commissioners the deed, and it had the power to order their is not objectionable, for the clerk is but the sale after the defendant's homestead had hand of the court in this matter. Neither been allotted him, and the disposition of the is it objectionable that the lands are situproceeds to satisfy the claim of the plaintiff ated in two counties. The court has the under his judgment. The objection raised by power to make the order, and a report is to defendant's counsel to the manner in which be made to the next term of the superior the court ordered the allotment of the home court of Franklin county, after the allot. stead to be made is without force. It is ment of the homestead and the sale of the true that the law has declared two ways of excess by the commissioners, in each matter. allotting a homestead,--one by petition, and Hines v. Moye, 125 N. C. 34 S. E. 103. the other under execution. But there are The last clause of the judgment to which ex. other methods besides those. In Littlejohn ception is made by the defendant, if erronev. Egerton, 77 N. C. 379, the superior court ous, is harmless, for the reason that none of Franklin county was instructed by this but parties to the action are bound by the court to appoint three commissioners to lay judgment in the cause, unless notice of lis off the homestead of the plaintiff, with in- pendens has been properly filed, and of that structions to give notice at the time to the we are not informed. defendants, and “in all particulars to ob- There was no error in the proceedings beserve, as near as may be, the requirements | low. of the Constitution, and of the homestead Affirmed. to enable the party to the action to recover within the reason for setting aside a verdict vindictive damages. McKee v. Ingalls, 5 Ill. for excessive damages. 30; Johnson v. Weedman, 5 Ill. 495.

And in Lord G- -r v. IIeath, Barnes' Notes, To set aside a verdict for inadequacy, in an 445, it was said that in point of reason there action for a personal wrong, is within the dis- is the same cause for setting aside a verdict cretion of the court, to be exercised very cau- for inadequacy as for excessiveness, but as the tlously, and perhaps never, for this cause alone. difference had always been taken and the pracwhere the action is of a vindictive nature and tice long settled, and as no Instance of a verdict the damages are arbitrary, though there might being set aside for inadequacy bad been found, be a flagrant case, even of that nature, in which the court refused to set aside & verdict of 12d. the court might interpose. Taunton Mfg. Co. v. in an action for slander. Smith, 9 Pick. 11.

So, in Wavle v. Wavle, 9 Hun, 125, It was So, in Brown v. Union R. Co. 51 Mo. App. held that the amount of damages to which the 192, it was held that courts have no author. plaintiff in an action for slander in which the ity to annul the verdict of a jury in an action defense was a justification is entitled, is not for personal injuries solely on account of the fixed, definite, or certain, or capable of being smallness or insignificance of the sum allowed. made so by computation, and is wholly within They have the authority only when gross in- the discretion of the jury, and an order setting Justice clearly appears aliunde the verdict. aside a verdict for 6 cents, and granting a new

Texas Rev. Stat. art. 1448, providing that trial, was reversed on appeal. new trials may be granted as well when the dam. In the above case, McDonald v. Walter, 40 N. ages are manifestly too small as when they are Y. 551, supra, II., was distinguished upon the too large, applies to actions ex delicto, as well ground that in that case the damages sought as to actions ex contractu. Allison v. Gull, to be recovered were capable of being rendered C. & S. F. R. Co. (Tex. Civ. App.) 29 8. W. certain by computation, 425.

So, a verdict for the plaintiff for 18. in an See also, on this subject, infra, IV. e, 1. And action for slander will not be set aside as a resee Robinson v. Waupaca, 77 Wis. 544, 46 N. W. sult of a misapprehension by the jury of the 809; Davis v. Central R. Co. 60 Ga. 329; Flan-judge's charge, where the judge told them that ders v. Meath, 27 Ga. 358,-infra, V.

the case was not one that called for large dam.

ages, but merely such as would set the plainb. Actions for libel and slander.

tiff's character right with the world. Mears v. As a general rule the Injury inflicted by a Grifin, 2 Scott N. R. 15, 1 Mann. & G. 790. libel or a slander is purely personal, and not The amount of damages to which the plaintia susceptible of measurement by any standard. in an action for libel is entitled iş a question Libel and slander cases therefore fall within for the jury, and the court will not interfere that class of cases in which a verdict will not with the verdict on the ground of inadequacy, be set aside for inadequacy unless it is such as though the libel was reiterated, and the court to shock the understanding and show blas, pas- would have been better satisfied if the jury sion, or prejudice, and some of the cases, notably had assessed the damages at a higher figure. the early English ones decided contemporane Kelly v. Sherlock, L. R. 1 Q. B. 686, 6 Best & ously with those mentioned in supra, IV. a, S. 480, 12 Jur. N. S. 937, 35 L. J. Q. B. N. S. seem to have adopted the more stringent rule 209. that a verdict cannot be set aside for inade- And a new trial will not be granted in such quacy unless there has been some mistake of actions for inadequacy except in very extreme law by the court, or in calculation by the jury. cases. Bailey v. Cincinnati, 1 Handy (Ohio)

The last-named rule was adopted in Rendall | 438. 1. Hayward, 5 Bing. N. C. 424, 7 Scott, 407, And a new trial will not be awarded in an ac2 Arn. 14, 3 Jur. 363, 8 L. J. C. P. N. S. 243 ;tion for libel in which merely nominal damages Forsdike v. Stone, L. R. 3 C. P. 607, 37 L. J. C. were awarded, though it was a case which would P. N. S. 301.

have justified the jury in imposing heavy vinSo, in Hayward v. Newton, 2 Strange, 940, dictive damages, where no evidence was given as the court refused to set aside a verdict in an to the actual damage done. Palmer v. Leader action for slander because of its smallness, Pub. Co. 6 Pa. Dist. R. 182. though it said it did not see why it was not And, in ascertaining the propriety of a ver.

a

diet in an action for slander with the view of ally incurred by him in defending himself and setting it aside for inadequacy, its effect upon obtaining his release from the unfounded charge the costs must be entirely laid out of considera- was £17, 148, where there was no intentional tion. Mears v. Griffin, 2 Scott N. R. 15, 1 Mann. | violation of right or duty upon the part of the & G. 796.

jury. Bradlaugh v. Edwards, 11 C. B. N. S. So, in Manton v. Bales, 1 C. B. 444, in an 377. action for injury to the plaintiff's reputation So, in Baker v. Dixie, 2 Strange, 1051, the by the sale of goods of an inferior quality with court refused to set aside a verdict for 58. damthe plaintiff's name stamped upon them, the ages in an action for malicious prosecution, on plaintiff being a manufacturer of the saine kind account of its smallness, upon the ground that of goods, the court refused to set aside a verdict it was not a false verdict, as finding for the dein which the damages were estimated at £5 on fendant would have been. the ground of inadequacy under the well-known And in Mauricet v. Brecknock, 2 Dougl. 509, rule precluding the interference with a verdict which was an action for maliciously suing out for a small amount as against evidence.

a commission of bankruptcy against the plainBut a new trial in an action for slander may tiff and maliciously holding him to bail, the be granted under 1 Va. Rev. Code, 510, $ 96, court refused to set aside verdict of £5, where the damages found by the Jury are manl-though it appeared that the bill of costs of the festly too small. Rixey v. Ward, 3 Rand. (Va.) plaintiff for superseding the commission of 52.

bankruptcy amounted to upwards of £30. And a finding of the jury in an action for But the expense of defending against such libel, that the libel was published with ma

prosecution, or of procuring relief from such ilclous Intent to injure, justifying the giving of imprisonment, 18 a tangible element of damages, a verdict for exemplary damages, but award- and the more modern rule would seem to pering to the plaintiff 6 cents only, warrants the mit, though It does not require, the considera. conclusion that they acted under some blas or tion of this element, and with reference to this mistake of law, and requires the setting aside subject, as well as with reference to all others, of the verdict as inconsistent, and the direction

a verdict may be set aside where it is so small of a new trial. Cottrill v. Cramer, 59 Wis. 231, as to shock the understanding and show bias or 18 N. W. 12.

prejudice. And a verdict for one farthing, in an action Thus, a verdict inding the defendant guilty for slander in which, though there was no proof of malicious prosecutlon, but giving the plaln. of any actual damage, there was no evidence tiff only nominal damages, should be set aside that the plaintiff had done anything to provoke and a new trial granted, where the actual dam. the slander or to show that he had disentitled age was shown with such definiteness as to be bimself to claim such a verdict as would be capable of being classified under a particular practically sufficient to vindicate his character, head, and determined by a legal measure. Paul Is so inconsistent with the facts as to warrant

v. Leyenberger, 17 Ill. App. 167. the court in setting it aside as inadequate and And a verdict in favor of the plaintiff for $5, granting a new trial. Falvey v. Stanford, L. R.

in an action for malicious prosecution will be 10 Q. B. 54, 44 L. J. Q. B. N. S. 7, 23 Week. set aside as inadequate and as against InstrucRep. 162, 31 L. T. N. S. 677.

tions, where the undisputed evidence proves that in the above case the court said with refer- the plaintiff paid or became liable to pay about ence to Rendall v. Hayward, 5 Bing. N. C. 424, $150 for counsel fees, and to procure the attend. 7 Scott, 407, supra, that, if the circumstances

ance of his witnesses in making the defense to were such as to leave no doubt that the jury the prosecution Instituted against him by the had fairly exercised a judgment upon the issue defendant, and the court charged the jury before them and upon the amount of compensa- that if they found for the plaintif they should tion due in the shape of damages, the practice allow him his reasonable expenses in that behalt. in that case would, in the absence of other con- Waufle v. McLellan, 51 Wis. 484, 8 N. W. 300. siderations restricting its application, be gen- So, while an arrest without a warrant is justi. erally followed in the exercise of the discretion fable, where such an arrest is made and the of the court.

prisoner is detained longer than a reasonable e Actions for malicious prosecution and false cuffed and carried out of the county and there

time for suing out a warrant, and he is handimprisonment.

incarcerated for days under no warrant what. The Injury caused by malicious prosecution ever, it is false imprisonment for which a And. and false imprisonment, like Ilbel and slander, ing by the jury of $25 is no compensation for seems to have been formerly regarded, at least the injury, and will be set aside and a new trial in England, as not susceptible of legal measure granted. Potter v. Swindle, 77 Ga. 419, 3 S. E. ment, so that a verdict in an action therefor 94. would be conclusive, however small It may have

But in such as a new trial will not be been.

granted for inadequacy except in very extreme Thus, a new trial was refused in an action of cases. Bailey v. Cincinnati, 1 Handy (Ohio) trespass and false imprisonment for taking | 438. plaintiff before a magistrate upon an unfounded And a verdict for the plaintiff for 6 cents in charge of felony, because a question of character an action for false imprisonment will not be was involved, though the jury had given only interfered witb by the court where the detenone farthing damages, as the court had no tion was only technical, and he was detained means of knowing that their estimate was an only long enough to walk across the street. improper one. Apps v. Day, 14 C. B. 112. Henderson v. McReynolds, 38 N. Y. S. R. 734,

And It is in the discretion of the jury in an 14 N. Y. Supp. 351. action for false imprisonment to give the plain- And a verdict for the plaintif for $50, in an tiff such damages as they may consider suf action for damages for wrongful imprisonment, acient compensation for the wrong he has sus- will not be set aside as inadequate, though tained irrespective of any expense he may have heavier damages might have been awarded, upon locurred in his defense, and an award of only a showing that he had employment at $35 and å farthing by way of compensation for his deboard per month, which would have continued tention for several hours at the police station for five months, and that such employment was will not be set aside, though the expense actu.' worth to him $250, and that he felt degraded

« AnteriorContinuar »