by Long Island Attorney Paul A. Lauto, Esq.
The Town of Smithtown recently settled a case after trial with a Shirley woman, who was injured in the lobby of the water district office. The claimant was cleaning the lobby, when an unsecured decorative fire hydrant fell on her left foot. The claimant sustained multiple serious injuries and was out of work for an extended period of time.
The jury verdict held the Town of Smithtown 60% liable and the claimant 40% liable. The case was subsequently settled for $50,000. Pursuant to New York's comparative fault law, the value of a case is reduced proportionately based on claimant's share of liability. Accordingly, had the claimant not been deemed contributorily negligent in the happening of the accident, her case would have had a value of approximately $83,333. That is a reduction of over $33,000 that claimant would have likely received, if her case was at full value.
This settlement helps demonstrate that every case is unique and that to compare one case to another based upon the money received, is often a very innacurate comparison.
Long Island Lawyer
Paul A. Lauto, Esq.