U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Griesa in New York abused his discretion in 2009 by tossing the original verdict and granting a retrial of a suit filed by William Raedle, the federal appeals court in Manhattan ruled today. The trial judge concluded the verdict was “impossible to accept with the weight of the evidence.”
Raedle sued the unit of Credit Agricole SA, France’s second-largest bank, in 2004, saying his former employer wrongfully interfered with his effort to win a job at Dreyfus. Raedle, who was fired from the Credit Agricole in 2001 for poor performance, alleged that his supervisor at the bank told a prospective boss at Dreyfus Corp. that he had “mental issues” and that cost him the job.
Griesa reversed a verdict in favor of Credit Agricole after the first trial in 2009, ruling that the jury’s decision was “drastically wrong” and “would result in a serious injustice” if allowed to stand.
Raedle prevailed in a second trial in 2010. A federal court jury found that the bank had interfered with Raedle’s bid for a new job and awarded about $2.4 million in damages.
The appeals court ordered the original verdict in the bank’s favor restored.
No Serious Harm
“The verdict, grounded in this fashion in the record, cannot be said to have been either egregious or a serious miscarriage of justice,” the appeals court said. By granting the retrial, “the district court abused its discretion,” it said.
Mary Guzman, a spokeswoman for Credit Agricole, didn’t immediately reply to a voice-mail message seeking comment.
The case is Raedle v. Credit Agricole, 04-cv-2235, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan). The appeal is Raedle v. Credit Agricole Indosuiz, 10-2565, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (New York).
To contact the reporter on this story: Patricia Hurtado in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org