In a recent Appellate Court decision, it was decided that a Nassau County jury was too stingy awarding only $2.2 million to a sun bather lying on the beach in a lounge chair who was run over by a Long Beach Police Officer on patrol. They said the award should have been $3,200,000. The 47 year old victim of this grossly negligent act suffered fractures of both his cervical and thoracic vertebrae which required two multi-level spinal fusion surgeries. The jury wisely rejected arguments advanced by the City of Long Beach that the sun bather's woes were due to pre-existing herniated discs unrelated to the accident.
The jury awarded $300,000 for medical expenses, $650,000 for lost wages, $1,250,000 for past and future pain and suffering. In March 2017, the Appellate Court covering Nassau County found that the award for pain and suffering was unreasonable and inadequate compensation. The Court held that unless Long Beach agreed to pay $2,250,000 for pain and suffering alone, the plaintiff would be entitled to a new trial limited to that issue.