Lewis v. Wilson
Statement by Mr. Justice BREWER:
The facts in this case are as follows: Plaintiff in error (the plaintiff below) brought suit against the defendants to recover damages for libel. At the December, 1887, term, and on April 9, 1888, a jury returned a verdict in his favor, assessing the damages at $10,000. On April 16, 1888, the defendants filed a motion for a new trial on the ground that the damages were excessive. After the entry of this motion the following appears of record.
'Edward H. Lewis vs. Geo. C. Wilson et al.
'December Term, 1887. Libel.
'After the rendition of the verdict of the jury in this action, and a motion by the defendants for a new trial on the ground that the damages assessed by the jury were excessive, the court said from the bench that the defendants' motion would be granted unless the plaintiff consents to reduce the verdict from ten to five thousand dollars, as the verdict is clearly excessive if we eliminate all damages which arose out of the claim of the plaintiff for special damages to his business in Texas, and to which he could lay no claim under the pleading and evidence in this case, and which the court withdrew from the consideration of the jury.
'And the court further said, if the plaintiff consents to reduce the verdict to five thousand dollars in pursuance of this suggestion, and the defendants decline to pay the judgment for that amount, and desire to prosecute a writ of error to the supreme court, then, in that event, jugment will be entered up for the sum of ten thousand dollars upon the verdict of the jury.
'And afterwards, to wit, on the 23d day of April, A. D. 1888, comes the plaintiff, by his attorney, and enters his consent to the reduction of the verdict of the jury to the sum of five thousand dollars.
'And then come the defendants, by their attorney, and submit to pay the said five thousand dollars.
'It is therefore considered by the court that the plaintiff, Edward H. Lewis, do have and recover of and from the defendants: Geo. C. Wilson; John N. C. Stockton; Mumby, Stockton & Knight, composed of Frank W. Mumby, John N. C. Stockton, and Raymond D. Knight; Wightman & Christopher, composed of William S. Wightman and John G. Christopher; A. W. Owens; Daniel G. Ambler; George F. Drew; J. M. Lee; C. B. Smith; George Hughes; J. M. Barrs; Samuel Barton; F. P. Fleming; J. R. Tysen; C. E. Garner; John N. C. Stockton, trustee; F. W. Hawthorne, C. P. Cooper; J. S. Smith, Jr.; James P. Taliaferro; James M. Fairlie; A. W. Cockrell; Charles W. Da Costa; W. B. Young; J. R. Cambell; T. E. Stribling; Roswell H. Mason; B. M. Baer; A. W. Barrs, J. E. T. Bowden; James M. Kreamer; and Telfair Stockton,-the sum of five thousand dollars and his costs, taxed at $644.25.