$813,000 Dollar Jury Award vs. Port Authority
SLIP and FALL ON UNKNOWN SUBSTANCE ON STAIRS WINS $813,000.00 VERDICT
Case: Manuel and Udosia Ortiz v. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, No. 10642/98
Venue: Queens Supreme, NY
Judge Joseph J. Risil Phyllis Orlikoff Flug
• Peter D. Rosenberg; Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff; Manhattan, NY, for Manuel and Udosia Ortiz
• Dr. Lon Weiner; Orthopedics
• Conrad Berenson Ph.D.; Economic Analysis
• Harlan Fair P.E.; Engineering
• Kathleen Gill Miller; Milton H. Pachter; Manhattan, NY, for The Port Authority of New York
• James Pascuiti; Vocational Rehabilitation
Plaintiff, a 47-year-old supervisor for a building maintenance company, was injured when he slipped and fell on an unknown substance on stairs leading from a basement loading dock at 5 World Trade Center in Manhattan. Plaintiff contended that he grabbed for a handrail, but the banister had been missing for several years and he lost his balance. He claimed that there was no evidence of negligence on his part, and Judge Flug did not charge the jury with contributory negligence. Defendant plans to appeal on this issue.
Offer: $300,000; demand: $500,000; amount asked of jury: $1,500,000.
Fractured tibial plateau, requiring open reduction and internal fixation with plates and screws; torn meniscus. Plaintiff underwent a second surgery 2 years later to remove the hardware and repair the meniscus. He claimed that he will require a future knee replacement. Plaintiff has severe post-traumatic arthritis, and he has not returned to work. Defendant argued that plaintiff is employable in some capacity.
Verdict Information: $813,804 for Manuel. Breakdown: $75,000 for past pain and suffering; $19,503 for past medical expenses stipulated; $179,500 for past lost earnings; $122,000 for future pain and suffering; $117,800 for future medical expenses; $300,001 for future lost earnings. $24,000 for Udosia. Breakdown: $14,000 for past loss of services; $10,000 for future