Salvatore Fundaro v. City of New York and New York City Board of Education
Type of Injury
FRACTURED ANKLE AND KNEE INJURY
$650,000, reduced to $487,500 for 25% comparative negligence of Pltf.
XV/14-6 FALLDOWN SCHOOL STAIRWAY FRACTURED ANKLE AND KNEE INJURY
Salvatore Fundaro v. City of New York and New York City Board of Education 21037/88 9-day trial Verdict 7/18/97 Kings Supreme
Judge: Gilbert Ramirez
Verdict: $650,000, reduced to $487,500 for 25% comparative negligence of Pltf. Breakdown: $60,000 for past pain and suffering; $ 80,000 for future pain and suffering; $80,000 for past lost earnings; $ 150,000 for future lost earnings; $280,000 for future medical expenses. A post-trial motion is pending. A Notice of Appeal by Deft. is likely.
Pltf. Atty: Herbert S. Subin of Subin Associates, Manhattan
Deft. Atty: Jonathan O. Michaels, Asst. Corp. Counsel
Facts: Pltf., a 17-year-old student at the time, claimed that on 3/29/88 he slipped and fell on a wet piece of paper towel on a stairwell at the New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn. He testified that he saw other debris on the stairs earlier that day, but did not specifically notice the piece of paper towel. He claimed that Defts. were negligent in failing to properly maintain the stairwell. Defts. contended that they had no notice of the dangerous situation, and argued that Pltf. was comparatively negligent.
Injuries: chip fracture of the ankle resulting in osteochondritis, requiring arthroscopic surgery; ruptured anterior cruciate ligament requiring three knee surgeries including a patellar tendon graft. Pltf. claimed that he has difficulty walking and climbing stairs, and cannot stand or sit for long periods of time. Defts. disputed the severity of Pltf. s injuries and argued that his injuries were not the result of this accident. Pltf. was not employed at the time of trial, but claimed that he would have been a police officer if he had not suffered these injuries. Defts. argued that although Pltf. had passed the police test on his second try, he did not participate in any of the remaining parts of the testing. Demonstrative evidence: diagrams of the ankle and knee; diagrams showing the surgeries performed; anatomical model of the foot. Jury deliberation: 8 hours.
Pltf. Experts: Dr. Howard Balensweig, orth. surg., Manhattan; Anna Dutka, economist, Manhattan; Dr. Edmond Provder, vocational rehabilitation, Manhattan.
Deft. Expert: There was no expert testimony for Defts.