Annie Ferguson v. City of New York
Type of Injury
$2,134,890 reduced to $1,067,445 for 50% comparative negligence of Pltf. (6/0).
X/8-5 FALLDOWN CITY LIABLE FOR ICY SIDEWALK $2 MILLION GROSS AWARD FOR PAIN AND SUFFERING KNEE INJURIES
Annie Ferguson v. City of New York 7745/89 2-week trial Verdict 5/20/92 Judge Hansel L. McGee, Bronx Supreme
VERDICT: $2,134,890 reduced to $1,067,445 for 50% comparative negligence of Pltf. (6/0). Breakdown: $2,000,000 for pain and suffering; $ 134,890 for medical expenses. Post-trial motions were denied. Jury: 1 male, 5 female.
Pltf. Atty: William A. Gallina of Klar, Piergrossi & Gallina, Bronx
Deft. Atty: Eugene P. Grimes, Asst. Corp. Counsel
Facts: Pltf., age 46 and unemployed at the time of the accident on 2/8/85, contended that she slipped and fell on an accumulation of ice on the sidewalk in front of 879 E. 165th St. in the Bronx. The ice was the result of two snowfalls during the week of 2/1 – 2/7/85. Pltf. testified that the snow had not been cleared at all in that time and had been walked on to the point where it became icy and uneven. Deft. contended that it had no duty to Pltf. as a matter of law. Deft. also argued that the accident did not happen where Pltf. claimed it did, citing several different addresses given to the police and ambulance operators. Deft. theorized that Pltf. slipped and fell in her apartment. The jury found 50% comparative negligence against Pltf. for her failure to proceed with adequate caution while traversing the ice. Injuries: tear of the anterior and posterior cruciate ligament; osteochondral fracture of the medial femoral condyle; torn lateral meniscus; iliotibial band tear; torn popliteal tendon; hematoma of the peroneal nerve; aggravation of preexisting carpel tunnel syndrome to both hands requiring surgical release. Pltf. underwent reconstructive surgery to the knee and arthrodesis with the application of an external fixator and a brace. Pltf. has undergone 2 years of physical therapy. She currently has a fused left knee and a partial left foot drop. Demonstrative evidence: photograph of street; enlargements of weather reports; illustrations of the operative procedures; X-rays; models of the knee. Offer: $150,000; demand: $750,000; amount asked of jury: $5,000,000. Jury deliberation: 2? hours. Pltf. Experts: Dr. I. Martin Levy, orth. surg., Bronx; Edmond Provder, rehabilitation expert, Manhattan; John R. Martin, meteorologist. There was no expert testimony for Deft.