Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty Law Blog

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

1st Department Alert: $100k too low for permanent hand injury

In the recent case of Kutz v. Bovis, decided by the 1st Department Appellate Division on September 8, 2015, a jury in Manhattan, also known as New York County, had awarded $100,000 to a tile finisher who had tripped and fallen over construction debris at a building site. He had received nerve damage to his left hand, including symptoms consistent with reflex sympathetic dystrophy and significant limitation of the use of his left hand due to permanent contracture of the fingers.

The Court found that:

A) The jury should have awarded the plaintiff something for loss of consortium. The plaintiff's behavior changed after the injury and it had impacted his relationship with his significant other. The 1st Department awarded the plaintiff's significant other $50,000.00 for loss of consortium.

B) Based on other decisions regarding serious injuries to the hand and associated depression, the award of $100,000.00 was too low. The 1st Department increased it to $400,000.00.

In short, because the plaintiff's trial attorneys took the time and effort to appeal the jury verdict to the 1st Department, the plaintiff's award was increased from $100,000 to $450,000. While this is only one case, and prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes, you and your clients should be sure to consult with the best trial lawyers that they can to ensure to maximize recovery.

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