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Can a judge increase the damages awarded by a jury in a lawsuit?

Through the action known as an additur, a judge may, at his or her discretion, increase the amount a jury has awarded in a lawsuit. In the case of an additur, the judge will typically give the party that must pay the award the option of augmenting the award or undergoing a new trial.

However, the converse process, known as a remittitur, whereby the judge decides to reduce the amount that a jury has awarded, is also a possibility. When deciding to issue a remittitur, a judge, in essence, offers the party awarded damages the option of accepting a lesser amount or permitting the judge to grant the opposing party a new trial.

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