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New York Jury Awards | Settlement Data

New York City

Jury Verdict Research’s recent study finds that the compensatory median award for personal injury trials in New York is $287,628, dwarfing nationwide median is $34,550. The report covers trials from 2001-2007.

New York has favorable juries, particularly in its urban areas. But the reality is that this number is distorted by the lack of smaller and midsized car accident lawsuits. Under New York’s no-fault law, an insurance company is required to pay drivers, passengers, and pedestrians up to $50,000.00 for their legitimate economic and medical losses but does not provide for pain and suffering. Only permanent injuries cases can recover more than $50,000. This leads to less lawsuits in smaller cases – of which there are many – which increases the overall award in New York.

2014 Personal Injury Jury Verdicts in New York

  • July 2014, New York: $100,000 Settlement: A 46 year-old social worker entered a local deli in the Foxhurst section of the Bronx. Within just a few steps inside she tripped and fell over a cash register and fallen ceiling tiles. The owner of the deli was inspecting the building’s roof when the accident occurred, as the building had been burglarized the night before. She sustained multiple tears in her left knee, a left ankle strain, lacerations to her right knee, left elbow trauma and a sprain to her right foot’s big toe. She underwent arthroscopic surgery for her left knee, but was informed by her orthopedist that the knee’s condition will deteriorate and she will require a total knee replacement. The woman sued the deli owner, claiming the deli should have been closed and its door locked until the debris was cleared. Plaintiff claimed the Defendant’s negligence created a dangerous condition. Defendant argued a sign was posted indicating the deli was closed, but did acknowledge the door was unlocked. The matter continued to trial, however the parties agreed to a settlement during jury deliberation in the amount of $100,000.
  • May 2014, New York: $1,830,000 Verdict: A 30 year-old homemaker presented to a local hospital with complaints of difficulty breathing with chest and back spasms. The physician noted the woman had undergone a lobectomy earlier that month and suspected infection and consulted with her surgeon. The surgeon ordered a psychological study, which suggested the woman was suffering anxiety. After seeing no improvement, she returned six weeks later where a CT scan revealed an accumulation of air and fluid in her pleural cavity as well as a fistula that had developed between her lung and pleural cavity. Her surgeon conducted a procedure to address only the infection. Six weeks later she underwent a procedure to address the fistula which required an Eloesser flap – creation of a fist-sized hole to allow access to her pleural cavity on the upper portion of her back by removing several ribs. The woman sued the surgeon for failing to diagnose her infection. Plaintiff claimed the infection should have been diagnosed during her first hospitalization when the examining doctor first suspected its presence. Plaintiff claimed had an antibiotic been administered and drainage performed, the infection would have been resolved. Defendant denied liability, claiming he appropriately managed her first hospitalization. A  jury found the Defendant negligent and awarded the Plaintiff $1,830,000.
  • May 2014, New York: $17,000 Verdict: A man was riding as a passenger in a vehicle that was traveling on East 28th Street in Sheepshead Bay. While stopped at the intersection with Avenue W, the vehicle was rear-ended. He sought treatment shortly after the collision for pain in his back, knees, neck and shoulders. He was ultimately diagnosed with cervical and lumbar sprains, a partial tear in his right shoulder’s rotator cuff, and tears to his right knee. Eventually he underwent a total replacement of his right knee. He sued the driver for negligent operation of his vehicle. Plaintiff claimed his injuries caused consistent pain and limitations. While the Defendant did not dispute liability, he contended Plaintiff did not sustain a serious injury. Defendant argued that Plaintiff’s injuries were minor and nothing more that soft tissue injuries. A Kings Supreme jury found for the Plaintiff and awarded him $17,000.
  • March 2014, New York: $4,873,703 Verdict: A 40 year-old man was experiencing recurrent falls and sought the opinion of a neurologist. A series of tests were conducted and the neurologist opined that the condition was a result of myasthenia gravis – a disorder that produces fluctuating fatigue and weakness of muscle. He prescribed the man a medication that stimulates the nerves and advised he will likely need to have his thymus removed to prevent the disorder from worsening. Two years later the man underwent removal of his thymus, wasprescribed additional medication and required to undergo bi-weekly plasmapheresis sessions. Two years following his surgery he sought a second opinion. The second neurologist ruled the man’s falls were a product of cataplexy. His medications were progressively altered, and he found his falls ceased when the original treatment ceased. He sued the first neurologist for medical malpractice. Plaintiff claimed Defendant misdiagnosed his condition, which led to years of distress and unnecessary treatment. Plaintiff claimed his plasmapheresis treatment resulted in an infection that resulted in hospitalization. Defendant contended Plaintiff’s allegations, and maintained he indeed suffered myasthenia gravis and claimed Plaintiff’s improvement was a result of the initial treatment. A New York Supreme jury found in favor of the Plaintiff for $4,873,703.08.
  • January 2014, New York: $225,000 Settlement: A 42 year-old man was driving on the westbound side of the Cross Bronx Expressway when he was rear-ended. He was taken by ambulance to St. Barnabas Hospital and treated for neck, back and shoulder pain. He was later diagnosed with cervical and lumbar disc bulges, as well as a sustained a tear of his right shoulder’s rotator cuff, which led to a development of tendinitis. His injuries required at least eight months of physical therapy, acupuncture and epidural injections. He sued the driver and his insurer, Progressive, for negligence. Progressive did not contest liability and the parties agreed on a $225,000 settlement.