After a jury awarded $12 million dollars to a 78-year-old woman whose right
foot was left hanging by a flap of skin after a steam-pipe explosion in
Midtown Manhattan, the Judge decreased the award by $8 million dollars
after the woman asked for $7.5 million dollars more in damages for past
pain and suffering.
On July 18, 2007, the plaintiff was standing on the corner of 40th Street and Lexington Avenue in Manhattan, waiting to cross the street
when she was suddenly catapulted into the air by an underground explosion.
Upon landing, bricks, stones and boiling water fell on her. Lying on the
ground, covered by debris for 45 minutes, she was finally rescued by the
New York City Fire Department. Flaps of skin kept her right foot from
detaching from her leg.
The plaintiff was taken to a nearby hospital where she underwent multiple,
excruciating surgeries to save her right foot. Skin and muscle were removed
from plaintiff’s chest and stomach to reattach her ankle and foot
and fill-in any gaps. The muscle was exposed in places because she did
not have enough excess skin to cover it. Her right toe developed gangrene
and was amputated. She suffered from constant diarrhea and infection.
She was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
The plaintiff sued the City of New York, Con Edison and a repair company
working on the underground pipe. After a jury trial, the plaintiff was
awarded $11.8 million dollars for pain and suffering, plus lost earnings
of $378,000. At the conclusion of trial, the plaintiff asked the Judge
to increase her damages by $7.5 million dollars. The plaintiff argued
that she was entitled to the extra millions because her condition was
much worse than an amputation. The Judge decided that the jury award was
excessive and deviated from what would be reasonable compensation for
If you, a family member or a loved one has suffered devastating injuries
in an accident,
contact Ivey Barnum & O’Mara to obtain legal advice. Our team of experienced
attorneys has obtained multi-million dollar settlements and jury verdicts.
We’ll get the results you deserve.