SACS Appellate Group Obtains $9.3 Million Remittitur in Kings County Supreme Court
On May 25, 2018 a Kings County jury rendered a verdict of $15,228,000 in Joao Dias v. NYCHA, Index No. 505822/2015 (Sup. Ct. Kings Co.) (Rivera, J.). Our appellate group was brought in to appeal the prior liability determination on summary judgment, and to prepare a post-trial motion on damages to Judge Francois Rivera. The 50-year-old plaintiff (represented by Lawrence Biondi) alleged that he fell from an 8-10 foot high scaffold. Plaintiff subsequently underwent a single level anterior discectomy and spinal fusion at C6-C7, and later a lumbar laminectomy, discectomy and single-level fusion at L4-L5. The jury’s $15,228,000 verdict was comprised of $11.5 million for pain and suffering, $270,000 for past and $1.6 million for medical expenses and $1,858,000 for lost earnings.
Tim Capowski, Rob Ortiz and Steve Widom principally briefed the post-trial motion and, following three lengthy oral arguments of the motion by Rob Ortiz before Judge Rivera, were successful on December 4, 2018 in obtaining a $9.3 million remittitur of the aggregate award down to $5,878,000. Judge Rivera ordered a remittitur of the $11.5 million pain and suffering award to $3 million, and a reduction of the $1.6 million future medical expense award to $750,000. Following the filing of an appeal by our office to the Appellate Division, Second Department from the order granting summary judgment on liability, plus a notice of appeal from the post-trial order granting a remittitur (seeking a further reduction), the matter settled.