Ps were in a car stopped at a traffic light. Their car was struck from behind by a truck driven by D, employed by company D.
The accident caused one P to become a quadriplegic and the other P to have a severe laceration on her forehead.
Evidence was introduced at trial about the present value of economic damages where figured were presented in lower-bound/upper-bound fashion based on differing assumptions about interest rates and growth rates.
Jury awarded $1.5M more in medical expenses than P's expert projected would be needed.
Jury awarded $100k to other P in mental pain and suffering.
Trial court found for Ps, jury awarded ~$22M to one P and $102k to the other.
Appellate court affirmed.
IL Supreme Court remittitur - ed. Reduced one by $1M and the other by $50k.
When are damage awards excessive?
Damage awards can be found to be excessive if they fall outside the range of fair and reasonable compensation or result from passion or prejudice, or if they are so large that they shocks the judicial conscience.
The jury enjoys a certain degree of leeway in awarding compensation for medical costs that are likely to arise in the future. However, the amount awarded here is nearly $1.5M more than the highest figure presented by the P's expert.
The award is not excessive in other respects.
The other award is excessive in its pain and suffering. The only damage was a laceration on the forehead which healed and left a minimal scar.
The amounts should not be reduced at all.
The first P had testimony that said that the total of all medical expenses could exceed the amount awarded by the jury.
The second P has nightmares about the accident.
The majority is substituting its own subjective judgment for the jury's evaluation of the evidence. This is not allowed.