Adams et al v. Austal, U.S.A., L.L.C.
ORDER denying 750 Motion for New Trial; denying 751 Motion for New Trial as set out in order. Signed by Judge Kristi K. DuBose on 3/21/2012. (cmj)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
EARATON ADAMS, et al.,
AUSTAL, USA, L.LC.,
CIVIL ACTION NO 08-0155-KD-N
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Beverly Thomas’ Rule 59 motion for new trial
(Doc. 750), and a Rule 50 renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law as to Austal’s Faragher
defense and Rule 59 motion for new trial filed by Plaintiffs Earaton Adams, Myron Barnes, Carlos
Johnson, Jermel Matthews, Jermaine Roberson, Charles Stills and George Wells. (Doc. 751).1
Specifically, Plaintiffs seek new trials due to the following: 1) the Court’s denial of Plaintiffs’
Batson challenges during jury selection; 2) the Court allowing Austal to proceed with a Faragher
defense even though it failed to affirmatively plead same; 3) the Court’s exclusion of evidence
demonstrating Austal’s knowledge of the severe or pervasive harassment and its failure to prove that
it took prompt and effective remedial action to correct such harassment; 4) the Court’s admission of
a highly prejudicial tape recording of a plaintiff; 5) the Court’s denial of Plaintiffs’ motions for
mistrial; and 6) the great weight of the evidence regarding Plaintiffs’ hostile work environment and
1 Rule 50(b) allows a party to renew a motion for judgment as a matter of law after trial, if filed no later
than 28 days after entry of judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P. 50(b). The movant may include with the Rule 50(b)
motion “an alternative or joint request for a new trial under Rule 59.” Id. Rule 59 provides in relevant
part that “[t]he court, may, on motion, grant a new trial on all or some of the issues – and to any party – as
follows: (A) after a jury trial, for any reason for which a new trial has heretofore been granted in an action
A Rule 59 motion for a new trial may be granted for reasons including if “the verdict is
against the weight of the evidence or will result in a miscarriage of justice.” Lipphardt v. Durango
Steakhouse of Brandon, Inc., 267 F.3d 1183, 1186 (11th Cir. 2001). See also Montgomery Ward &
Co. v. Duncan, 311 U.S. 243, 251, 61 S.Ct. 189, 85 L.Ed. 147 (1940). Resolution of a motion for a
new trial is committed to the discretion of the trial court. Montgomery v. Noga, 168 F.3d 1282, 1295
(11th Cir. 1999). Rather than establish that the jury verdicts are against the clear weight of the
evidence, Plaintiffs instead simply rehash facts and arguments which have already been exhaustively
presented to this Court. The foregoing issues were thoroughly argued by the parties and considered
by the Court during these Plaintiffs’ trials. A motion for new trial is not a forum to relitigate old
matters or to present arguments or evidence that could have been presented at trial. Michael Linet,
Inc. v. Village of Wellington, Fla., 408 F.3d 757, 763 (11th Cir. 2005). Nevertheless, considering
Plaintiffs’ arguments and after having presided over these Plaintiffs’ trials, the Court finds that for
those reasons set forth on the record, the evidence is sufficient to support the jury verdicts and that
the verdicts are not against the great weight of the evidence.
As to the renewed Rule 50(b) motion for judgment as a matter of law, such motion is
appropriate when there is no legally sufficient evidentiary basis for a reasonable jury to find for the
non-moving party. Optimum Techs., Inc. v. Henkel Consumer Adhesives, 496 F.3d 1231, 1251 (11th
Cir. 2007). A jury verdict “must be left intact if there is evidence from which the decision
maker...reasonably could have resolved the matter the way it did.” Rodriguez v. Farm Stores
Grocery, Inc., 518 F.3d 1259, 1264 (11th Cir. 2008). Even if the evidence would have supported a
verdict for the losing party “[t]he issue is not whether the evidence was sufficient for [the losing
at law in federal court[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(a)(1)(A).
party] to have won, but whether the evidence was sufficient for it to have lost.” Id. at 1264-1265. A
“court must evaluate all the evidence, together with any logical inferences, in the light most
favorable to the non-moving party.” Beckwith v. City of Daytona Beach Shores, Fla., 58 F.3d 1554,
1560 (11th Cir. 1995). See also e.g., Nurse “BE” v. Columbia Palms West Hosp. L.P., 490 F.3d
1302, 1308 (11th Cir. 2007). Plaintiffs bore the burden of establishing their claims. The jury found
that the Plaintiffs had not done so. Upon consideration, the Court finds that for those reasons set
forth on the record, the evidence was sufficient to support the jury’s determinations.
Accordingly, based on the foregoing, it is ORDERED that the Plaintiffs’ motions (Docs. 750,
751) are DENIED.
DONE and ORDERED this the 21st day of March 2012.
/s/ Kristi K. DuBose
KRISTI K. DuBOSE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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