Tag Archives: civil appeals

Court of Appeal: Trial Judge’s “Unorthodox” Charge to Jury “Got the Job Done”

Deanna Zurek suffered soft tissue injuries in a rear-end collision.  After a trial, a jury awarded her non-pecuniary general damages, damages for past loss of income, and damages for future care costs.  However, it awarded her no damages for future loss of income.  Ms. Zurek appealed, citing the trial judge’s erroneous charge to the jury as the reason for the jury’s failure to award damages for future income loss.

The Court of Appeal released its decision in Zurek v. Ferris on November 5, 2010.  The Court agreed with Ms. Zurek that  many of the trial judge’s comments to the jury  were unnecessary and “not germane to the issues the jury had to decide.”  It characterized the charge as “unorthodox.”  Despite these comments, the Court held that the charge as a whole was fair.  It cited the following examples of the trial judge’s attempts to have the jury resolve the issues using relevant evidence:

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