On August 15, 2018, the appellate court covering Suffolk County upheld the Order of Justice Tarantino which lopped off $2,200,000 from a jury verdict. The Suffolk County jury awarded a then 46 year old construction worker $4,200,000 for the pain he suffered due to a fall of only two feet from a scaffold while engaged in removing asbestos caulking from the windows of the Plaza Hotel. This was a damages only trial as the Court found the defendant responsible based on a pre-trial motion.
The plaintiff underwent surgery to repair an inguinal hernia and spinal fusion surgery to treat several herniated discs in his lower back. There was testimony that the construction worker experienced "excruciating pain, radiculapothy, drop foot and RSD" (reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome). The spinal surgery failed to bring relief and caused the plaintiff to suffer urinary incontinence - all of which resulted in a permanent disability that prevents him from working. The award for the past pain and suffering (over 9 years) of $2,000,000 was cut to $750,000 and the award for future pain and suffering (over the next 23 years) was reduced from $3,000,000 to $1,250,000. The total award sustained for pain and suffering was $2,000,000. The plaintiff was separately awarded an additional $2,000,000 for wages and/or medicals which was not contested on appeal. Garcia v CPS 1Realty, 2018 WL 3863288