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Bloom v. ProMaxima Manufacturing Ltd.

April 15, 2010

LOUIS BLOOM AND NANCY BLOOM, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
PROMAXIMA MANUFACTURING LTD., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Charles J. Siragusa United States District Judge

DECISION and ORDER

INTRODUCTION

Siragusa, J. Following a jury verdict in Defendant's favor, this matter is now before the Court on Plaintiff's motion (Docket No. 167) for judgment as a matter of law, or, in the alternative, for a new trial. For the reasons stated below, Plaintiff's application is denied in its entirely.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

On May 16, 2004, at approximately 7:30 a.m., Plaintiff Louis Bloom ("Bloom"), was working out at a fitness center using a Roman chair manufactured by ProMaxima Manufacturing, Ltd. ("ProMaxima"). The Roman chair was a piece of equipment Bloom had previously used without incident. However, on this occasion, when Bloom put his legs under the foot rest T bar on the Roman chair, the T-bar came out, and he fell head first to the floor sustaining injuries. At trial, the jury determined that the Roman chair was defective for lack of a warning, but that the defect was not a proximate cause of Bloom's injuries. In the subject motion, Plaintiffs contend that the evidence was insufficient to permit a reasonable juror to find for ProMaxima on the proximate cause issue.

STANDARDS OF LAW

During trial, Plaintiffs moved under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 50(a) for judgment as a matter of law. Plaintiffs now renew their motion pursuant to Rule 50(b), which provides in relevant part as follows:

If the court does not grant a motion for judgment as a matter of law made under Rule 50(a), the court is considered to have submitted the action to the jury subject to the court's later deciding the legal questions raised by the motion. No later than 28 days after the entry of judgment--or if the motion addresses a jury issue not decided by a verdict, no later than 28 days after the jury was discharged--the movant may file a renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law and may include an alternative or joint request for a new trial under Rule 59. In ruling on the renewed motion, the court may:

(1) allow judgment on the verdict, if the jury returned a verdict;

(2) order a new trial; or

(3) direct the entry of judgment as a matter of law.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 50(b). As the Second Circuit wrote in Galdieri-Ambrosini v. National Realty & Development Corp., 136 F.3d 276 (2d Cir. 1998):

"The posttrial motion is limited to those grounds that were 'specifically raised in the prior motion for [JMOL]'"; the movant is not permitted to add new grounds after trial. McCardle v. Haddad, 131 F.3d 43, 51 (2d Cir.1997) (quoting Samuels v. Air Transport Local 504, 992 F.2d 12, 14 (2d Cir.1993)); see, e.g., Cruz v. Local Union No. 3 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, 34 F.3d 1148, 1155 (2d Cir.1994) ("Cruz v. Local Union No. 3"); Lambert v. Genesee Hospital, 10 F.3d 46, 53-54 (2d Cir.1993) ("the specificity requirement is obligatory"), cert. denied, 511 U.S. 1052 (1994); Smith v. Lightning Bolt Productions, Inc., 861 F.2d 363, 367 (2d Cir.1988).

Id. at 286. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59 permits a court to grant a motion for a new trial, ...


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