Severe Facial Injuries from Assault - Jury Awards $5,000,000 for Pain and Suffering, Trial Judge Reduces Verdict to $3,500,000 and Appellate Court then Dismisses Case on Liability Grounds


On March 2, 2002 at about 5:30 p.m., Miguel Beato returned home from work as a porter. As he walked through the courtyard of his apartment complex at 35-46 65th Street in the Woodside section of Queens, New York, he was confronted by an unknown gang of men. He asked them to move out of his way and they responded by with a 15 minute attack in which Miguel was beaten continuously and severely.

Beato sustained injuries all over his face, including:

*an orbital (eye socket) fracture

*a mid-face (depressing and caving in the area from the eye to the teeth)fracture

*a displaced eye

*a markedly displaced fractured nose that obliterated his sinus

The attackers fled but were caught, convicted and jailed. Beato, then 39 years old, sued the building owner claiming that the owner negligently failed to provide adequate security. A Queens County jury agreed and apportioned liability 75% to the owner and 25% to the attackers. Pain and suffering damages were then assessed at $5,000,000 ($1,500,000 past – 6 years, $3,500,000 future – 15 years). The trial judge then ruled that the award was excessive and should be reduced to $3,500,000 ($1,500,000 past, $2,000,000 future).

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John Hochfelder on:

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