The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined plaintiff’s motion for a directed verdict should not have been granted and explained the criteria:
” A motion for judgment as a matter of law pursuant to CPLR 4401 may be granted where the trial court determines that, upon the evidence presented, there is no rational process by which the [trier of fact] could base a finding in favor of the nonmoving party'” … . “In considering such a motion, the trial court must afford the party opposing the motion every inference which may properly be drawn from the facts presented, and the facts must be considered in light most favorable to the nonmovant'” … .
Here, the Supreme Court, in announcing its decision, stated that it expressly considered and relied on the defendants’ evidence. This was error, as it was improper for the court to consider, on a motion for a directed verdict made before the moving party had rested and the opposing party had an opportunity to present rebuttal evidence, the evidence introduced by the moving party … .
Thus, in the context of a motion for a directed verdict, the Supreme Court should not have accorded the defendants’ expert’s testimony more weight than that of the plaintiff’s expert. In determining a motion for a directed verdict, the trial court “must not engage in a weighing of the evidence, nor may it direct a verdict where the facts are in dispute, or where different inferences may be drawn or the credibility of witnesses is in question” … . Boriello v Loconte, 2020 NY Slip Op 02035, Second Dept 3-25-20