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The procedural process by which an excessive verdict of the jury is reduced. If money damages awarded by a jury are grossly excessive as a Matter of Law, the judge may order the plaintiff to remit a portion of the award.
The remedy of remittitur is designed to cure an award of damages that is grossly excessive without the necessity of a new trial or an appeal. In some cases, an award by a jury is so completely out of line with the damages proven in the case that it is Unconscionable.
Ordinarily, however, an award of Punitive Damages will not be upset as excessive in the absence of gross error or prejudice on the part of the jury.
Remittitur frequently occurs when a defendant requests a new trial because he or she regards the verdict for the plaintiff as excessive.
n. 1) a judge's order reducing a judgment awarded by a jury when the award exceeds the amount asked for by the plaintiff (person who brought the suit). 2) an appeal's transmittal of a case back to the trial court so that the case can be retried, or an order entered consistent with the appeal's court's decision (such as dismissing the plaintiff's case or awarding costs to the winning party on appeal). (See: remand)