It's rare that the Court of Appeals, New York's highest court, rules on the proper amounts for pain and suffering in accident or medical malpractice cases. Usually, jury verdicts are challenged by the aggrieved party at the trial court level (a post-trial motion addressed to the trial judge) and/or at the intermediate appeals court level (one of the four statewide Appellate Division courts). Last week, though, the Court of Appeals weighed in on the pain and suffering verdict in a medical malpractice case.
Lang v. Newman (link is to Court of Appeals decision; Appellate Division decision is here) involved the claims of a 26 year old woman who woke up on January 14, 2003 with weakness on her left side, lightheadedness and tunnel vision. After an ambulance took her to the hospital, she also complained of nausea and a severe headache.
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