It was reported in today's New York Law Journal that a Brooklyn jury awarded $6,600,000 to a former cab driver who was severely injured when he lost control of his vehicle at JFK Airport on a freezing cold morning in November 2008. The cab driver came into the airport from the Van Wyck Expressway when he hit a 300 foot "sheet of ice" that had wiped out two other cars. Apparently, a computer controlled sprinkler system which was scheduled to be disabled weeks earlier had malfunctioned and the sprinkler systems poured water onto the roadways in 20 degree temperatures. The cab driver lost control of his car which crashed into the other cars that had also lost control.
The jury found that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was negligent for failure to disable the sprinkler system prior to the onset of freezing temperatures in November. The cab driver suffered extensive meniscal tears in his knees leading to multiple surgeries followed by bilateral total knee replacements.Since knee replacements have a limited shelf life (10-15 years), the jury heard testimony that future knee replacements would be necessary to replace the original prosthetics. Included in the award was $4 million for future medical expenses and $2,375,000 for past and future pain and suffering. Favor v New York and New Jersey Port Authority