5 Key Points to Know about Additur in Legal Cases
Additur refers to a court's power to increase the amount of damages awarded by a jury in a civil case. It essentially allows the court to add to the jury's initial verdict if they believe it's insufficient to compensate the plaintiff for the harm they suffered.
Key Points about Additur:
- Used when jury award is deemed inadequate: It's typically employed when the court finds the jury's award significantly below the reasonable range of compensation based on the evidence presented.
- Rarely used: Due to limitations and concerns about violating legal rights, additur is a relatively uncommon occurrence in most legal systems.
- Not available in all jurisdictions: In some jurisdictions, like the United States federal courts, the use of additur is prohibited, typically due to concerns about violating the Seventh Amendment's right to a jury trial.
- May require defendant's consent: While specific procedures vary, sometimes additur requires the defendant's agreement to the increased award, avoiding the need for a new trial.
- Potential challenges: Additur can be subject to legal challenges on grounds like violating due process rights or exceeding the court's authority.
Distinguishing from Remittitur:
- Opposing action: While additur increases the award, remittitur allows the court to decrease the jury's award if found to be excessive.
- Frequency: Remittitur is generally more common and accepted than additur in most legal systems.