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New York Court Awards Prisoner $180,000 in Slip and Fall

On June 3, 2003, a court of claims in Rochester, New York, awarded prisoner Samuel K. Tambe $180,000 for injuries he sustained when he tripped over an elevated sidewalk slab at the Groveland Correctional Facility in Sonyea, New York.

After the fall, Tambe suffered intense pain and discomfort in his upper right thigh. A medical examination revealed a spiral fracture of the right proximal femur. A reduction surgery was performed during which a nail and a wire were inserted. The operation left a 9.5 inch permanent scar from Tambe's right hip down to his knee.

Tambe testified that he relied on a wheelchair, crutches and a cane to move around. Although he was able to walk seven months after the accident, Tambe continued to experience pain and physical limitations. In addition, Tambe lost bone density; his gluteus, thigh and calf atrophied; and he lost strength in his right lower leg.

The court held that since Tambe did not claim or present evidence as to past or future earnings, it could only consider damages for pain, suffering and enjoyment of life. Accordingly, Tambe was awarded $180,000$65,000 for past pain and suffering, and $115,000 for future pain and sufferingplus interest from the prior liability decision. (The State of New York was found liable for Tambe's fall at an earlier hearing. This trial was to assess damages.)

Tambe was represented by Edward L. Fiandach of the Rochester, New York, firm Fiandach & Fiandach. See: In The Matter Of Tambe v. State of New York, Court of Claims, Rochester, Case No. 93276.

Source: VerdictSearch New York Reporter

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Related legal case

Tambe v. State of New York