The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kahn, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM — DECISION AND ORDER
Presently before this Court is Defendants' renewed motion for
judgment as a matter of law. For the reasons set forth below,
this motion is denied.
A jury returned a verdict for plaintiff on 25 February 1998
and awarded $400,000 in damages. Defendants attempted to move
for a renewed judgment as a matter of law pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 50(b), but the Court denied that motion because
Defendants failed to provide any support from the record that
they to made a Rule 50(a) motion, for a directed verdict. The
Court permitted Defendants to refile their motion with the
relevant supporting documents, which Defendants did a timely
Plaintiffs motion for attorney fees is also currently pending.
A. Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict
Fed.R.Civ.P. 50(b) permits a party to make a renewed motion
for judgment as a matter of law. The purpose of requiring a
renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law is to give the
opposing party "`an opportunity to cure the defects in proof
that might otherwise preclude him [or her] from taking the case
to the jury.'" Cruz v. Local Union Number 3 of the Int'l Bhd.
of Elec. Workers, 34 F.3d 1148, 1155 (2d Cir. 1994) (quoting
Baskin v. Hawley, 807 F.2d 1120, 1134 (2d Cir. 1986))
(alteration in original). The same standard applicable to a
Rule 50(a) motion for judgment as a matter of law governs a
Rule 50(b) renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law. See
Raspente v. National R.R. Passenger Corp., 111 F.3d 239, 241 n.
3 (2d Cir. 1997). The motion may be granted only if "the
evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the opposing
party, is insufficient to permit a reasonable juror to find in
[her] favor." Galdieri-Ambrosini v. National Realty and Dev.
Corp., 136 F.3d 276, 289 (2d Cir. 1998); see also Vermont
Plastics, Inc. v. Brine, Inc., 79 F.3d 272, 277 (2d Cir. 1996).
The Court will only grant the motion if "there is such a
complete absence of evidence supporting the verdict that the
jury's finding could only have been the result of sheer surmise
and conjecture, or if the evidence is so overwhelming that
reasonable and fair-minded persons could only have reached the
opposite result." Lambert v. Genesee Hosp., 10 F.3d 46, 53-54
(2d Cir. 1993); see also Galdieri-Ambrosini, 136 F.3d at 289.
The Court "must give deference to all credibility determinations
and reasonable inferences of the jury, and it may not itself
weigh the credibility of witnesses or consider the weight of the
evidence." Galdieri-Ambrosini, 136 F.3d at 289 (citing
Vasbirider v. Ambach, 926 F.2d 1333, 1339-40 (2d Cir. 1991)).
In order to make that renewed motion for judgment as a
matter of law, Rule 50(b) requires that a motion for a directed
verdict be made at the close of all the evidence. See Hilord
Chemical Corp. v. Ricoh Electronics, Inc., 875 F.2d 32, 37 (2d
Cir. 1989). And the Second Circuit has been quite clear that
this "procedural requirement may not be waived as a mere
technicality." See Cruz, 34 F.3d at 1154 (quoting Redd v.
City of Phenix City, Ala., 934 F.2d 1211, 1214 (11th Cir.
1991)). Moreover, even when a pre-verdict motion for judgment as
a matter of law has been made, the movant may not add new
grounds after trial. The post-trial motion is limited to those
grounds that were "specifically raised in the prior [Rule 50(a)]
motion." Samuels v. Air Transport Local 504, 992 F.2d 12, 14
(2d Cir. 1993); see Cruz, 34 F.3d at 1155; Lambert v. Genesee
Hospital, 10 F.3d 46, 53-54 (2d Cir. 1993) ("the specificity
requirement is obligatory"), cert. denied, 511 U.S. 1052, 114
S.Ct. 1612, 128 L.Ed.2d 339 (1994); Smith v. Lightning Bolt
Productions, Inc., 861 F.2d 363, 368 (2d Cir. 1988). In sum, a
post-trial Rule 50(b) motion for judgment as a matter of law can
properly be made only if, and to the extent that, such a motion
specifying the same grounds was made prior to the submission of
the case to the jury.
2. Defendants' Refiled Motion
Defendants' timely refiling of their J.N.O.V. on 15 November
1999 is supported by the required citations to the record. The
record shows that their attempts to make a Rule 50(a) motion
were postponed by this Court until after the verdict was
returned. A meeting was held on 11 March 1999 for the purpose of
allowing both parties to make not only post-trial motions, but
to record certain pre-verdict motions that were not made during
the trial. Thus, this Court will treat Defendants' postponed
motions as a waiver, and will proceed to evaluate this motion on
3. Merits of Defendants' J.N.O.V. Motion
As a preliminary matter, this Court will treat Defendants'
refiled Rule 50(b) motion papers as separate from the original
motion filed on 30 March 1998, as the refiled motion includes
references to, and a ...