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ARTICLE ID 24901

$________ GROSS REDUCED BY COMPARATIVE NEGLIGENCE OF 23% Plaintiff, employed by tenant in office building, falls down interior stairwell connecting mezzanine to lobby - Lobby was under renovation and stairwell had no hand railing - Quadriceps mechanism disruption in knee - Open surgery and arthroscopic surgery.

New York County

The 45-year-old male plaintiff was employed as a computer administrator with a financial service company located at 11 Broadway. On November 13, ________, at 11:00 a.m., the plaintiff was walking down an interior staircase, which connected the mezzanine to the building’s lobby.

The steps were made of marble. The plaintiff started to fall down the steps. The lobby of the building was being renovated and the owner had removed the hand railing from the staircase. There was no railing for the plaintiff to grasp to arrest his fall.

The plaintiff suffered a knee injury that was a quadriceps mechanism disruption. He initially underwent open surgery. Two years later he underwent arthroscopic surgery. The plaintiff alleged that the owner of the building had violated the New York City building code that required hand railings. The defendant argued that the absence of the hand railings had nothing to do with the plaintiff falling down.

The security guard employed by the owner wrote a post-accident report.

However, the security guard could not be found and his report was excluded. The defendant claimed that it does not maintain accident reports in the course of its business.

On behalf of the plaintiff, an expert engineer testified as to the importance of hand railings. He opined that the absence of the railing caused the plaintiff’s accident. The plaintiff’s treating orthopedic surgeon testified through videotape regarding the plaintiff’s injuries.

The defendant’s expert orthopedic surgeon opined that the plaintiff achieved an excellent surgical result after the first surgery and did not require a second surgery. The plaintiff testified that he had not fully recovered and still suffered significant sequelae and recurring pain and swelling. He further contended that he could no longer do many physical tasks including playing with his 8-year-old son. The plaintiff testified that he had suffered a significant diminution to his earning capacity as a result of his accident and encountered problems finding comparable work in a difficult economy.

The jury found the defendant 77% liable and the plaintiff 23% liable.

The gross award of $________ was thus reduced to $________. Of the $________ gross award, $________ was for past pain and suffering and $________ was for future pain and suffering.

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