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A New York Court of Claims judge has awarded more than $2.5 million to a father of six who suffered a knee injury while working on the Tappan Zee Bridge. Trial testimony indicated that claimant Steven Larson is no longer the husband, father or provider he was before a June 9, 1997, accident. Judge Terry Jane Ruderman’s award in Larson v. New York State Thruway Authority, 96629, included nearly $1.5 million in future economic loss for the now unemployed ironworker. In a prior decision, Ruderman held the state fully liable for the accident, which occurred when Larson fell while helping to dock a barge. The accident required a knee replacement. The court noted that before the accident, Larson was the sole provider for his family, and an energetic husband and father. Now, he is unemployed, no longer hunts, fishes or plays ball with his children, and is unable to perform routine household chores. Additionally, Larson’s wife, Joyce, testified that her husband’s personality has changed and that her once outgoing and social mate has become reclusive. She told the court the accident has significantly strained their 20-year marriage. Judge Ruderman’s award includes $1.4 million for future economic loss; $370,742 for past economic loss; $48,350 for past medical costs; $50,000 for future medical costs; $375,000 for past pain and suffering; and $125,000 for future pain and suffering. The court also awarded $75,000 to Ms. Larson for loss of services. Howard Borowick of Millwood, N.Y., appeared for Larson. Assistant Attorney General Vincent Cascio argued for the state. In another recent Court of Claims decision, Judge Alan C. Marin awarded $54,496 in a Labor Law � 240 case in which a claimant working on an elevated section of the Van Wyck Expressway in Queens was injured. John Anarumo Jr., an ironworker, was in a man-lift basket attempting to install steel plates under the expressway on Sept. 19, 1995. The basket dropped about a foot while Anarumo was holding a plate over his head. Although Anarumo did not lose control of the plate, it did hit his right shoulder. In Anarumo v. State, 93045, Marin found the state’s medical experts more persuasive than Anarumo’s, and said the plaintiff’s evidence on his physical restrictions was ambiguous. Under the strict liability provisions of Labor Law � 240, Marin said the claimant is entitled to nothing for future pain and suffering, $35,000 for past pain and suffering, $11,958 for lost wages and benefits and $7,538 for medical expenses. Harvey Jasper of Jasper & Jasper in Manhattan appeared for Anarumo. John A. Beyrer, of counsel to Mulholland, Minion & Roe in Williston Park, N.Y., defended the state.

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