in the best of faith to comply with all directives issued to him and that, as a corollary thereto, plaintiff did not act in bad faith justifying termination of his franchise.
Substantial reasonable inferences may be drawn from the evidence that the non-renewal of the plaintiff's franchise was due to the fact that, for reasons personal to the defendant, it did not desire a small-town dealer such as the plaintiff to continue to represent this modernized and up-to-date company, that in the stampede for success defendant intimidated and coerced the plaintiff into complying with its then newly formulated directives while, had the defendant applied a persuasive and understanding approach to the problems of the plaintiff, he undoubtedly would still remain as a representative of the defendant company.
Evidence was adduced at trial from which the jury could have inferred that plaintiff suffered a loss of $ 4,000.00 in accumulated parts, $ 7,000.00 in equipment, $ 10,000.00 in good will and $ 1,500.00 for which plaintiff was obligated on his lease as the result of the arbitrary termination of his franchise. It was further developed that plaintiff had orders for five automobiles at the termination of his franchise and that a reasonable projection into the future, recognizing the considerable impact that the Rambler had upon the automobile market generally, could well anticipate a sale of at least sixty automobiles within a year. This conclusion is buttressed by the fact that plaintiff earned $ 3,000.00 profit in the two months that his franchise was effective in 1959.
The plaintiff was not required to show with exactitude the precise sum that he lost since such an exact computation is not feasible. The jury may make a just and reasonable estimate of the damage based on relevant data. In such circumstances, where defendant by its own wrong was prevented a more precise computation, the jury is allowed to act on probable and inferential as well as direct and positive proof. Bigelow v. R.K.O. Radio Pictures, 327 U.S. 251, 264, 66 S. Ct. 574, 90 L. Ed. 652.
The Court is not free to reweigh the evidence and set aside the jury's verdict merely because the jury could have drawn different inferences or conclusions, or because the Court regards another result as more reasonable. Tennant v. Peoria & Pekin Union Railway Co., 321 U.S. 29, 64 S. Ct. 409, 88 L. Ed. 520; Masterson v. Pennsylvania Railroad Co., 182 F.2d 793 (3rd Cir.); Thomas v. Conemaugh & Black Lick Railroad Co., 234 F.2d 429 (3rd Cir.).
Based upon the entire record, I am compelled to conclude that the jury had sufficient evidence and inferences deducible therefrom upon which to predicate an award of $ 20,000.00 for the period from March 2, 1959 through March 2, 1960.
MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL
I. MORTALITY TABLES
A study of the legislative history of this act reveals that the intention of Congress was directed at correcting the abuse of economic power which had been wielded by the automobile manufacturers, B. T. Woodard et al. v. General Motors Corp., 5 Cir., 298 F.2d 121. No basis exists to construe the statute as limiting damages to a single year, and it was with the view to aid the jury in having a basis to estimate the potential life span of the plaintiff, should the jury have believed that in the normal course of events the franchise would have been renewed throughout his life, that the United States Mortality Tables were admitted.
Nevertheless, even if the Court were wrong in this respect, no prejudicial error could have resulted since the jury confined damages solely to one year following the termination of the franchise, and the introduction of the Mortality Tables would, at worst, constitute mere surplusage.
II. POINTS FOR CHARGE
The Court refused to charge in the precise language of defendant's requested points for charge 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19 and 21 for the reason that defendant's points sought judicial sanction to statements which involved a discussion of factual data containing an expression of opinion as to conclusions and inferences which the jury was required to accept from the facts related. In the sixteen years that I have served as a United States District Court judge, I have never made it my practice to discuss the facts with the jury, believing as I do that a discussion of the facts on the part of a judge, either by intonation or emphasis, may cause jurors to conclude that the trial judge harbors certain beliefs as to the weight that different facets of the evidence should be given. It is my belief that in the interest of strict impartiality, the weight and inferences deducible from the evidence are solely the province of the jury which the Court in no way should preempt and must exercise extraordinary caution to prevent the great influence which a jurist necessarily wields from being misconstrued by jurors.
In point 24 there is an implication that a jury may not make an approximation of damages based on future profits which are not ascertainable in definite and precise amounts. In this connection, the law indicates that where substantial damages are proved, the impossibility of proving precise limits is no reason to deny substantial damages, 25 C.J.S. Damages § 90; Restatement of Contracts, Sec. 331.
Defendant's point 27 for deduction from damages of any earnings that plaintiff had from any other employment or business or any earnings he reasonably would have had if he had diligently sought or undertaken other employment for which he was suited for the years in question is not maintainable under any construction of the act and appears to be contrary to the tenor and purport of the act.
It is further noteworthy that numerous phases and aspects of defendant's points for charge were most thoroughly covered in the Court's instructions to the jury. In this respect, the law is well settled that refusal of requested points for charge does not constitute error where the substance thereof is adequately embraced in the trial court's charge to the jury. United States v. Riggi, 256 F.2d 57, (3rd Cir.).
I have considered the remaining contentions of the defendant and find them so wholly lacking in merit as to require no discussion.
III. WEIGHT OF EVIDENCE
In the exercise of my judicial discretion, upon re-examination and meticulous review of the record, viewing the verdict in the overall setting of the trial and considering the character of the evidence and the legal principles which the jury was bound to apply to the facts, it is incumbent upon me to abstain from interfering with the verdict unless it is quite clear that the jury has reached a seriously erroneous result, Lind v. Schenley Industries, Inc., 278 F.2d 79 (3rd Cir.). Substantial evidence exists in the record to support the verdict of the jury.
Motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and/or new trial will be refused.
An appropriate order is entered.
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