Sunday, November 24, 2013

Donovan v. Penn Shipping Co. case brief

Donovan v. Penn Shipping Co. case brief summary
429 U.S. 648 (1977)

In an action against respondent employers under the Jones Act, 46 U.S.C.S. § 688, petitioner employee filed an application for a writ of certiorari, challenging an order of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit which dismissed his appeal of a judgment which was based on his agreement to accept a remitted award.

While working, the employee slipped on wet paint and injured his wrist and elbow. The employee obtained a $ 90,000 jury verdict. The employers' motion to set aside the verdict as excessive was granted and a new trial on damages was ordered unless the employee agreed to remit the award. Based on the employee's agreement, a judgment for $ 65,000 was entered for the employee. The employee attempted to reserve his right to appeal from the remitted award by stating that he accepted the remittitur under protest.


  • The appellate court's order dismissing the employee's appeal was upheld on appeal. 
  • The employee had no right to appeal a remittitur order which he voluntarily accepted.

The employee's application for a writ of certiorari was granted, and the judgment based on the employee's agreement to accept a remitted award was affirmed.

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