A judge has trimmed to $9.7 million a jury verdict for a Bronx woman who says she slipped on a broken step while descending a staircase in her friend’s apartment building, causing her to suffer a major ankle fracture. The original recovery awarded by a Bronx jury had been $12.6 million.
Lawyers for Aminata Kromah, 37, secured that verdict after a trial held in March and April of 2017 in the slip-and-fall case. The award included $4.5 million for past pain and suffering, $4.5 million for future pain and suffering, and more than $2.5 million for future medical costs and expenses.
According to court papers, Kromah’s injury, which occurred in May 2013, caused complete displacement of the bone from her ankle joint and caused collateral injuries, reflex sympathetic dystrophy and traumatic arthritis.
The jury apportioned half of the fault to each of the defendants, 2265 Davidson Realty and Langsam Property Services.
But state Supreme Court Justice James Hubert, sitting in the Bronx, said in a decision filed on Tuesday that the award for past pain and suffering was excessive when compared with the future suffering award.
The award for past suffering breaks down to more than $1.1 million per year for the four years spanning the time of her accident to the jury’s verdict, the judge said, compared with $100,000 per year for the next 45 years.
Marc Freund of Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman represented Kromah. In an interview, he said Hubert’s decision was “well reasoned” and that, after interest is computed, his client may receive about $11 million. But he said that Kromah, who previously worked as a hairdresser, will not be able to work again and will need assistance with everyday tasks for the rest of her life.
Eric Berger and Edward Hayum of Cozen O’Connor appeared for the defendants. Berger declined to comment.