Friday, November 22, 2013

First Department Reinstates $1 Million Jury Award

In Luna v. New York City Transit Authority, the Appellate Division, First Department reinstated a $1 million jury award for a torn meniscus of the right knee, with arthroscopic surgery and continuing pain. The trial court had reduced past and future pain and suffering awards of $500,000 and $500,000, respectively, to $100,000 and $250,000. The 47-year-old plaintiff showed she was unable to work for three months following the accident, used a cane for more than a month, and went to twelve therapy sessions that the First Department described as “extremely painful.” The plaintiff still takes medication, feels limited in her activities, suffers from what will be progressively worsening arthritis, and also will likely need a knee replacement in the future.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Ballot Measure to Raise Judicial Retirement Age Fails

On Tuesday, voters rejected a proposal to alter New York’s mandatory retirement age for judges serving on the New York Court of Appeals and for justices of the Supreme Court. The measure would have raised the retirement age from 70 to 80 for judges of the Court of Appeals and allowed Supreme Court justices to remain in their positions up until age 80, provided they pass a recertification every two years starting at age 70. As the proposal failed, a number of judges on the Court of Appeals will face mandatory retirement in the next few years, including: Judge Smith in 2014, Chief Judge Lippman in 2015, Judge Pigott in 2016; Judge Read's 14-year term will expire in 2017, just before she meets the deadline for mandatory retirement that year.