Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fourth Department Reduces $33 Million Pain and Suffering Award

In Barnhard v. Cybex Intl., Inc., the plaintiff, a 24-year old female physical therapy assistant, suffered a fractured vertebra when a exercise machine tipped over and fell on top of her.  As a result she is quadriplegic and requires around the clock care.  At trial she argued that her injuries "left her unable to experience the joys of parenthood and grow the massage-therapy business she was in the process of founding at the time of the accident" (2010 WL 5760848).  The jury awarded the plaintiff $33 million for total pain and suffering, $28,563,128 for future medical expenses, $151,690 for past lost earnings, $1,797,612 for future lost earnings, and $792,435 for "future care of potential children."  The parties also stipulated to $1,689,439 for past medical expenses. 

On appeal, the Fourth Department reduced the pain and suffering award to $12 million.  The Court also vacated the jury's $792,435 award for "future care of potential children" as based entirely on speculation.  

No comments:

Post a Comment