Case Caption: Guardian Insurance Co. v. Warren Knight, Administrator of the Estate of Valerie Knight-David et al. Case Number: SCT-CIV-2018-0047Date: 11/09/2021Author: Cabret, Maria M. Citation: 2021 V.I. 20Summary: In an appeal by an insurance company that prevailed below against the estate of an insurance broker for some $700,000 in un-remitted policyholder premiums, its argument that the jury’s verdict was “clearly erroneous” in failing to assign any liability to the other remaining defendants is rejected, as this sole argument on appeal is waived. The insurer’s claim that the jury’s verdict adopting the exact amount of damages reflected in a Division of Banking and Insurance report (which included some $5,000 converted or embezzled after the broker fell into a coma and ceased working) logically required a finding that the other defendants conspired to convert or embezzle at least that amount was not presented to the Superior Court at any point during the proceedings below. The request to hold that the Superior Court erred in failing to enter judgment as a matter of law, sua sponte, based upon a finding that the jury lacked a legally sufficient evidentiary basis to support its verdict, despite the insurer’s failure to timely raise any argument or motion asserting that claim is declined. Under V.I. R. Civ. P. 50(a) and 50(b), the requirement for litigants to raise challenges to the sufficiency of the evidence by way of a Rule 50 motion for judgment as a matter of law before the trial court is no mere procedural formality, and is necessary and integral to the judicial process because whether judgment should be entered as a matter of law or a new trial should be granted calls for the judgment in the first instance of the judge who saw and heard the witnesses and has the feel of the case which no appellate printed transcript can impart. Here, the insurer also did not file a motion seeking either a new trial or to alter or amend a judgment pursuant to Virgin Islands Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 59, and the jury’s findings are not inconsistent; a new trial or amended verdict is not warranted here, nor does this case appropriate for exercise discretion by applying the “waiver of waiver” doctrine. The Superior Court’s June 14, 2018, judgment is affirmed.Attachment: Open Document or Opinion