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Grunenthal v. Long Island Rail Road

United States Supreme Court
393 U.S. 156 (1968)


Facts

Grunenthal (plaintiff) was injured while working for Long Island Rail Road (Long Island) (defendant). Grunenthal sued Long Island under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), 45 U.S.C. § 51 et seq., in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. In the complaint, Grunenthal requested damages in the amount of $250,000. The jury returned a verdict in Grunenthal’s favor and awarded damages of $305,000. Grunenthal was given leave to amend the damage request in the complaint. Long Island moved the court to set aside the damage award on the ground that it was excessive. The judge denied the motion, and Long Island appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The court of appeals directed the lower court to enter a remittitur, giving Grunenthal the option to accept a $105,000 reduction of the damage award or have the judge order a new trial. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Brennan, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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