Harris v City of N.Y. Health & Hosps. Corp.
2008 NY Slip Op 02018 [49 AD3d 321]
March 11, 2008
Appellate Division, First Department
Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.
As corrected through Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Alberta Harris, Appellant,
City of New York Health & Hospitals Corporation, Respondent, et al., Defendant.

[*1] Mauro Goldberg & Lilling LLP, Great Neck (Caryn L. Lilling of counsel), for appellant.

Michael A. Cardozo, Corporation Counsel, New York City (Pamela Seider Dolgow of counsel), for respondent.

Order, Supreme Court, Bronx County (Edgar Walker, J.), entered November 21, 2006, which, insofar as appealed from as limited by the briefs, granted defendant City of New York Health & Hospitals Corporation's motion to set aside the verdict to the extent of ordering a new trial solely on the issue of damages unless plaintiff stipulated to a reduction of the jury awards for past and future pain and suffering from $500,000 and $1,000,000 to $400,000 and $120,000, respectively, unanimously modified, on the facts, the conditional award for future pain and suffering increased to $250,000, and otherwise affirmed, without costs.

The 76-year-old plaintiff tripped and fell on a raised portion of overlapping floor mats in the lobby of Lincoln Hospital, which is operated and maintained by defendant. The uncontroverted evidence at trial indicated that she suffered tears to the menisci of both knees and underwent arthroscopic surgery on her left knee, which had been operated on twice for a torn meniscus before the accident. Plaintiff was bedridden for about two weeks after the accident and two weeks after the surgery and received physical therapy for nine months. She walks with a cane, may require a knee replacement in 10 to 15 years, and is in constant pain. However, she is able to live independently, to do her own shopping and laundry and to travel by public transportation, and she is able to walk two blocks at a slow pace. She takes the same pain medication as she was taking before the accident.

The record supports the trial court's reduction of the jury awards, which "deviate[d] [*2]materially from what would be reasonable compensation" (CPLR 5501 [c]). However, the conditional reduction for future pain and suffering was excessive to the extent indicated. Concur—Tom, J.P., Buckley, Sweeny and Moskowitz, JJ.