On July 24, 2019, an appellate court reviewed a Westchester County jury verdict that was claimed to be so low and inadequate as to "deviate materially from what would be [considered] reasonable compensation." The plaintiff was 30 years old at the time of trial and had fractured his ankle in a motorcycle accident with another motorist. The plaintiff fractured his distal fibula which required surgery to treat using a metal plate and screws which he will have to live with for the rest of his life. The plaintiff testified that it took him one year to recover following the surgery, that he can no longer run and experiences daily discomfort while walking.The jury awarded damages of $162,500 for 3 years of past pain and suffering and $67,500 for the future 40 years the plaintiff was expected to live with this injury. The award for the future 40 years works out to less than $1700 per year. The plaintiff moved to set aside the damages verdict and for a new trial solely on that issue.
Both the trial court and appellate court refused to set aside this jury verdict, though extremely low, finding that it was within the range of fairness. The appellate court noted that the plaintiff's own physician testified that he had made a "good recovery" and the defendant's doctor testified he had made an "excellent recovery", There was no evidence that future surgery would be necessary. Since the jury found the plaintiff 55% at fault for the accident, the $230,000 total award will be reduced by that percentage ($126,500) for a net recovery of $103,500. Diaz v Dadabo, 2019 NY Slip Op