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SHERRI LEIGH ODOM, A MINOR, BY AND THROUGH HER MOTHER AND NEXT FRIEND, BRENDA J. ODOM v. CLINT PARKER

AUGUST 23, 1989

SHERRI LEIGH ODOM, A MINOR, BY AND THROUGH HER MOTHER AND NEXT FRIEND, BRENDA J. ODOM
v.
CLINT PARKER, ET AL.



BEFORE HAWKINS, P.J., PRATHER AND BLASS, JJ.

HAWKINS, PRESIDING JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

Sherri Leigh Odom and her mother Brenda J. Odom as next friend have appealed from an order of the circuit court of Pearl River County granting an additur but not ordering a new trial on damages. Because the Odoms as plaintiffs were not afforded an election of choosing a new trial on damages, we reverse.

FACTS

 On October 18, 1985, Clint Parker drove an automobile into the rear of another car stopped at an intersection, in which Sherri Leigh Odom, a minor, was a passenger, thereby causing a whiplash injury to her. Sherri Leigh's mother, Mrs. Brenda J. Odom, expended $1,516.49 for medical bills for Sherri Leigh.

 Sherri Leigh, by and through her mother, and Mrs. Odom individually, sued Parker for her personal injuries in the circuit court of Pearl River County. Parker's insurance carrier paid Mrs. Odom $2,500 on the claim to be credited against any judgment rendered against Parker. There was no question as to liability.

 Following trial the jury returned the following verdict:

 "We, the Jury, find for the Plaintiff, Brenda J. Odom, and assess her damages at $1,516.49."

 "We, the Jury, find for the Plaintiff, Sherri Leigh Odom, and assess her damages at Zero."

 The Odoms made a motion for a new trial on, among other things, inadequacy of damages.

 In his order overruling the motion for a new trial, the circuit judge noted that he could understand the jury's failure to award Sherri Leigh any sum of money, and furthermore observed that under this Court's many holdings a jury verdict should not be disturbed unless so out of line "as to be against the great weight of the evidence and shows the verdict is the result of passion, prejudice and bias."

 The concluding paragraphs of the order then recited:

 The Court finds that to award the plaintiffs in this case the total sum of $2,500.00 would be a verdict that would be completely fair and reasonable under the evidence that was adduced at trial and upon which the jury based its verdict.

 The Court finds that to grant an additur of $983.51 to Sherri Leigh Odom in addition to the judgment in favor of Brenda J. Odom in the amount of $1,516.49 would completely, adequately and fairly compensate the plaintiffs for the alleged injuries sustained in the incident in this cause.

 IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that an additur in the amount of $983.51 be and the same is hereby granted to Sherri Leigh Odom and the Motion for New ...


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