The trial judge failed to issue an opinion setting forth the rationale upon which he changed the jury's verdict, and we are thus deprived of any insight the trial judge might have gathered in making his determination that the evidence did not support the verdict. The rule is clear that, if there is any credible evidence which under any reasonable view fairly admits of inferences which support the jury's verdict, the verdict must be sustained, and neither the trial court nor this court may tamper with it. Doern v. Crawford (1967), 36 Wis.2d 470, 476, 153 N.W.2d 581; Rodenkirch v. Johnson (1960), 9 Wis.2d 245, 248, 101 N.W.2d 83;
"`. . . The question here is, Is there credible evidence to sustain the verdict? If there is, even though it be contradicted and the contradictory evidence be stronger and more convincing, nevertheless the verdict of the jury must stand. The credibility of witnesses and the weight of the evidence are for the jury. The court does not retry the question. The court merely ascertains whether there is credible evidence to sustain the verdict. . . .'"
The question properly posed to the jury was whether Gertrude Bergmann was negligent. The trial court properly defined negligence as the "failure to exercise ordinary care . . . that degree of care which under the same or similar circumstances, the great mass of mankind would ordinarily exercise."
The record is replete with evidence from which the jury could properly conclude Gertrude Bergmann had failed to exercise ordinary care. She stopped her car on a downslope of an icy incline. She knew that the road was slippery and testified that she had skidded before
Since the record contains credible evidence from which the jury could have concluded that Gertrude Bergmann was negligent, it was error for the trial court to change the jury's determination, and the verdict must be reinstated.
Although implicit in the trial judge's reversal of the jury's verdict is the finding that the negligence was disproportionate, we cannot conclude that it was so disproportionate as to be unreasonable or shocking to the conscience of this court.
By the Court.—Judgment reversed and the cause remanded with directions to reinstate the verdict and for judgment upon the verdict as reinstated.