A New Jersey appeals court has decided that a jury’s award of $100,000 for an amputee’s pain and suffering was too low.
“Based upon her life expectancy, the damages amount to $8 per day, [which is] grossly insufficient and a miscarriage of justice,” the New Jersey Appellate Division ruled.
The case involves a woman who had a total of seven surgeries to correct a circulation problem. Three of those operations involved amputation, as gangrene crept up her limb. Ultimately, she lost most of the leg and will probably use a wheelchair for the rest of her life.
A jury verdict awarded her $800,000 for economic damages, plus $100,000 for pain and suffering. The three-judge appellate panel ordered a new trial to recalculate the noneconomic amount, noting that written transcripts were an inadequate substitute for an opportunity to actually observe witnesses as they testify in this case.