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Florida Second DCA rules that trial court erred in not applying "manifest weight of the evidence" standard to consideration of the plaintiff's motion for a new trial

On July 13, 2018, in Meyers v. Shontz, No. 2D17-1681, the Florida Second DCA reversed a trial court’s order granting a new trial to the plaintiff in a motor vehicle negligence case and remanded for reconsideration by the trial court. In granting the plaintiff’s new trial motion, the trial court’s order had simply noted that the defense response to the new trial motion contained a representation regarding testimony of a witness “which is significantly different than the court’s recollection.”

The Second DCA observed that a trial court may order a new trial when the jury's verdict is against the manifest weight of the evidence, citing Meadowbrook Meat Co. v. Catinella, 196 So. 3d 373, 373 (Fla. 2d DCA 2015). The Second DCA concluded that nothing in the trial court’s order or elsewhere in our record suggested that the trial court performed the function the standard requires—namely, to consider all of the evidence, including its weight and credibility, and to decide whether it manifestly weighed in the plaintiff’s favor.