Remittitur Definition and Legal Meaning
On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Remittitur, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.
What is Remittitur?
(n) Remttitur is the order by which a judge limits the scope of the order issued by a jury or lower court to the extend of the prayers or requests made by the plaintiff. For example when a plaintiff asks for interest @3% and the jury awards interest based on the rules existing which is at a higher rate than demanded by the plaintiff, a remittitur can limit such interest to 3%
History and Meaning of Remittitur
Remittitur is a legal term that has been used in common law jurisdictions for hundreds of years. The term comes from the Latin word "remittere," which means "to send back." In the legal context, remittitur refers to the power of a court to reduce or send back a portion of a jury's verdict that it deems excessive or unsupported by the evidence presented. This power is generally used in cases where the court determines that the jury's award of damages is excessive or not supported by the evidence presented.
Examples of Remittitur
Here are a few examples of how remittitur might be used in different legal contexts:
In a personal injury case, a jury may award a large sum of money to the plaintiff for their injuries. If the court determines that the damages awarded are excessive based on the evidence presented, the judge can issue a remittitur to reduce the amount awarded to a more reasonable level.
In a breach of contract case, a jury may award damages to the plaintiff based on the value of the contract that was breached. If the court finds that the evidence presented does not support the damages awarded, the judge can issue a remittitur to reduce the amount awarded.
In a defamation case, a plaintiff may be awarded damages for harm to their reputation. If the jury's award of damages is excessive, the court may issue a remittitur to reduce the amount awarded.
Legal Terms Similar to Remittitur
Here are a few related legal terms that are similar to remittitur:
Additur: This is the opposite of remittitur, and refers to a judge's power to increase a damages award if the original award is found to be inadequate.
Damages: This refers to the monetary compensation awarded to a plaintiff in a civil case for harm suffered as a result of the defendant's actions.
Verdict: This is the decision rendered by a jury or judge in a case, usually in the form of a finding of guilt or liability, or an award of damages.