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Court Finds Harmless Error in Directing Verdict in Defendant’s Favor: Opens the Door to Case Evaluation Sanctions and Taxable Costs

Motor Vehicle Litigation / October 1, 2019

While Sarazin is an unpublished opinion, the Court provides a common sense approach in its reasoning. Given the crucial question as to whether Plaintiff needed PIP benefits after a date certain was fairly submitted to the jury, and the jury concluded she did not, it was harmless error to grant Home-Owners’ Motion for Directed Verdict on Plaintiff’s replacement services claim. Simply put, as the jury found Plaintiff no longer required medical treatment or attendant care related to the accident, there would simply be no basis for finding that the continued need for replacement services would remain.

Similarly, the Court used sound judgment in concluding that the responsibility of disputing a non√¢‚Ǩ‚Äòunanimous case evaluation award rests with the party challenging the other’s entitlement to case evaluation sanctions. Here, it went undisputed. While the Court, therefore, concluded that the trial court erred in denying Home-Owners’ Motion for Case Evaluation Sanctions, a good practice tip would of course be, to hang on to those case evaluation award sheets!

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