Brief Fact Summary.
Plaintiff sued Defendants under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, after she was terminated from her job as a hiring test administrator. Plaintiff alleged she was terminated as retaliation for testifying at a senate committee hearing.
Synopsis of Rule of Law.
A district court may grant a motion for a new trial when the weight of the evidence relied upon by the jury was clearly erroneous.
The second element, the employer's motivation, presents a question of fact.View Full Point of Law
Dr. Judith Piesco (Plaintiff) sued the City of New York, the Department of Personnel, and her supervisors Ortiz and Laporte (Defendants) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, after she was terminated from her job as a hiring test administrator. Plaintiff alleged she was terminated as retaliation for testifying at a senate committee hearing.
Was it proper for the district court to hold that a motion for a new trial could not be granted unless the jury’s verdict was egregious?
No, the district court did not apply the correct standard when reviewing the motion for a new trial. The case is remanded for the motion to be considered under the proper standard.
The Court determined that the district court misinterpreted the court’s precedent. The “egregious” standard used by the district court was dictum from Dunlap-McCuller v. Riese Organization, and was not meant to change the “clearly erroneous” standard.