We saw at Super Bowl LV that the greatest of all time is still the greatest of all time. Although we New York Giants fans must acknowledge the Tom Brady is the GOAT, the GOAT most acknowledge that when he played Eli Manning in the Super Bowl, he lost both times. Now on to this week’s cases.
MONTEFUSCO V. MAIN STREET L.I.,LLC (7267/14)
AFFIRMED: January 13, 2021, Appellate Division, Second Department
VENUE: Supreme Suffolk
TYPE OF CASE: Trip and Fall
FACTS: A 64-year-old woman tripped and fell after stepping in a hole in the grassy median next to the parking lot at her apartment complex.
- The plaintiff sustained a trimalleolar fracture (three-part ankle fracture).
- The plaintiff underwent two closed reductions in the emergency room.
- A week after the accident, plaintiff underwent an open reduction internal fixation with the placement of plate and screws.
- The plaintiff stayed in the hospital for 10 days following the accident,
- After she was released from the hospital, the plaintiff spent three weeks at an inpatient rehabilitation facility.
- The plaintiff claimed to experience continuing pain.
- The plaintiff claimed that the pain hinders her ability to do household chores, play with her grandchildren, and that she is careful while climbing and walking.
- The defense argued that the plaintiff made a full recovery with no limitations or restrictions other than mild aches.
AFFIRMATION: The jury awarded $200,000 for the past 4 years and $85,000 for the future 16 years of pain and suffering. The Appellate Division, Second Department affirmed the $285,000 reward.
MOSELY V. E.H.J LLC (0020436/2015)
REDUCED: March 1, 2018, Appellate Division, First Department
VENUE: Supreme Bronx
TYPE OF CASE: Trip and Fall
FACTS: A 70-year-old woman tripped on a defective sidewalk outside of the Nunez Depot hardware store.
- Immediately after the accident, the plaintiff was helped onto a bus across the street from Nunez Depot by a Good Samaritan. The plaintiff did not feel the need to seek medical care until later that night when she realized that she could not bear weight on her left foot.
- The plaintiff suffered nondisplaced fractures of her left foot’s cuboid bone and fourth metatarsal.
- The plaintiff spent six weeks wearing a cam boot on her left foot.
- The plaintiff underwent six sessions of physical therapy
- The plaintiff experienced aggravation of pre-existing lumbar stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back) with radiculopathy requiring several epidural steroid injections.
- The plaintiff claimed to suffer from continued pain in her foot and back, as well as swelling in the foot that required the use of a cane to walk.
- The plaintiff claimed that as a result of the pain from the accident, she is unable to clean her house, teach Sunday School, take part in missionary work involving visiting home bound people and taking them to medical appointments, or cook.
- The plaintiff was diagnosed with a lumbar stenosis with back pain several years before the accident.
- The plaintiff’s orthopedic surgeon opined that the plaintiff would require fusion surgery to alleviate her intractable pain from resulting traumatic arthritis. The expert also said that fusion was the only option for her lumbar stenosis was a laminectomy and fusion surgery.
- The defendant’s expert orthopedic surgeon opined that the fracture healed well. He also testified that this accident would not have caused an aggravation of the plaintiff’s lumbar stenosis. The orthopedic surgeon claimed that since the plaintiff did not have radiculopathy, there was no need for any surgery.
REDUCTION: The jury awarded $350,000 for the past 2 years and 9 months and $1,300,000 for the future 14 years of pain and suffering. The trail judge reduced to $150,000 for past and $250,000 future. The Appellate Division, First Department affirmed the trail court’s reduction. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, $400,000 in 2018 is $420,344.78 in 2021.
CANO V. MID-VALLEY OIL COMPANY, INC. (151 A.D.3d 685)
INCREASED: June 7, 2017, Appellate Division, Second Department
VENUE: Supreme Suffolk
TYPE OF CASE: Workplace Liability
FACTS: A 33-year-old general contractor was caulking the exterior walls of a gas station when he fell from the fourth rung of an unsecured ladder.
- The plaintiff suffered severe, comminuted intra-articular fracture of his wrist.
- The plaintiff underwent an external fixation surgery on his wrist.
- The plaintiff underwent the implantation of pins, screws, and K-wire to stabilize the wrist fracture. The plaintiff then had to undergo surgery to remove the hardware.
- The plaintiff claimed to experience permanent loss of range of motion and post traumatic arthritis, requiring a future wrist replacement or fusion surgery.
- The plaintiff suffered a compression fracture of thoracic spine at T10-T11, which resulted in arthritis.
- The plaintiff experienced herniation of his L5-S1 disc, requiring fusion and decompression surgery with insertion of a pedicle screws and side bone grafting.
- The plaintiff suffered from non-union and failed back syndrome. He required fusion surgery at L4-S1.
- The plaintiff suffered loss of range of motion and progressively worsening pain in his back.
- The plaintiff claimed that he will require L3-L4 revision surgery in the future.
- The plaintiff claimed that he will was permanently unable to return to work.
INCREASE: The jury awarded $100,000 for the past 9 years and $357,000 for the future 31 years of pain and suffering. He Appellate Division, Second Department increased the award to $1,000,000 for past and $2,500,000 for future pain and suffering. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, $3,500,000 in 2017 is equivalent to $3,754,170.46 in 2021.