jury could answer the question in the affirmative, yet award damages based on
comparative negligence. Tr. 2342-43.
4. The jury’s verdict and entry of judgment. The trial court denied defendants’
motion for a directed verdict. Tr. 1770, 2300, 2309. The jury returned a verdict in
Choate’s favor and found that he sustained $6.5 million in damages. Based on the jury’s
finding that Choate was 40 percent negligent, the award was reduced to $3.9 million. Tr.
2534. The trial court denied defendants’ post-trial motions, and entered judgment in the
amount of $3.875 million to allow for a setoff following Choate’s separate settlement
with BNSF. A3.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
The trial court’s decision denying defendants’ motion for judgment n.o.v. is
reviewed do novo. York v. Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Med. Ctr., 222 Ill. 2d 147, 178
(2006). When the defendant owes “no duty [to the plaintiff] . . . as a matter of law,” the
defendant is entitled to judgment. Cope v. Doe, 102 Ill. 2d 278, 280 (1984). Judgment
n.o.v. also must be granted when “the evidence, when viewed in its aspect most favorable
to the opponent, so overwhelmingly favors movant that no contrary verdict based on that
evidence could ever stand” (Lazenby v. Mark’s Constr., Inc., 236 Ill. 2d 83, 100 (2010)),
or when there is a “lack of evidence to prove any necessary element of the [plaintiff’s]
case” (York, 222 Ill. 2d at 178 (internal quotation marks omitted)).
A new trial must be granted when the “trial court’s rulings in the course of the
trial result in prejudicial error.” Lisowski v. MacNeal Mem’l Hosp. Ass’n, 381 Ill. App. 3d
275, 283 (1st Dist. 2008). Each error asserted “is subject to its own standard of review.”
Id. at 284. The “denial of a request for a special interrogatory presents a question of law
and is reviewed de novo.” Jones v. DHR Cambridge Homes, Inc., 381 Ill. App. 3d 18, 38