Civil Procedure II, Pages 643–647

Lind v. Schenley Industries

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, April 6, 1960

Facts:

Plaintiff alleged defendant orally promised a pay increase, which he and his secretary testified to. Defendant's agents denied making such a promise.

Procedural History:

Jury found that there was a contract. Trial judge granted new trial because the verdict was:

  1. Contrary to the weight of evidence
  2. Contrary to law
  3. A result of error in the admission of evidence

Issue:

Was it in error to grant a new trial for the verdict being against the grat weight of evidence?

Rule:

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59

Reasoning:

The jury could understand the facts and weigh the testimonies' credibility.

Holding:

It was in error to grant a new trial. Reversed and remanded.

Dissenting Opinion:

Hastie: The result was against the great weight of the evidence. Plaintiff claims he was granted a 1% commission on all gross sales by his agents. This would make him more highly paid than any other salesman, any of his supervisors, and anyone else in the company besides the president. This was more than a quadrupling of his salary. He claims the promise was made years ago, yet not put in writing and never paid. Plaintiff never even asked for it throughout these years. It was therefore against the great weight evidence.

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