In a recent decision by a Queens County Judge, a 27 year old female who had won an award of $1,000,000 past pain and suffering; $1,000,000 in punitive damages; and, $2,000,000 for future pain and suffering had most of her recovery wiped out. The award for punitive damages was dismissed as a matter of law and the future pain and suffering award for over five years was cut from $2,000,000 to $250,000.
The plaintiff was a patron of a large outdoor beer garden. She was being escorted out by a bouncer following an argument with another patron. She claimed the bouncer shoved her down a flight of six concrete steps--landed on her face and fractured her upper jaw. There was evidence this same bouncer had previously used excessive force on other patrons, and that the corporate defendant was well aware of his violent tendencies.
Surgery was required to treat the fractures with implantation of 4 plates and 16 screws. The treating oral surgeon testified that plaintiff was at a 50% risk of losing 4 teeth in her upper jaw and a lifetime increased risk of losing every other tooth in the upper jaw due to the incident. "In such instance, plaintiff would require a bone graft and four dental implants, at a total estimated cost of $30,000." Bar-Levy v 35-33 36th St. Corp., 2017 WL 4248884