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New York Prisoner Awarded $295,000 For Knee, Ankle Injury

On July 29, 1999, a court of claims in White Plains, New York, awarded
$295,000 to a prisoner who suffered knee and ankle injuries when a stack of
cartons containing frozen meat fell on her.

New York state prisoner Karen Ely, 43, was working at her prison job
assignment in the kitchen at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility when a
stack of cardboard cartons containing frozen meat toppled and fell on her.
Ely claimed that a civilian worker had brought the cartons into the kitchen
on a pallet and then left the pallet next to the ovens where Ely was working.

As a result of the accident, Ely's right lateral malleolus and right tarsal
navicular were fractured, and her right medial meniscus was torn. Ely wore
an air cast on her ankle and a knee immobilizer that extended from her knee
to her hip for 3 months and then underwent 4 months of physical therapy.
Ely sued the state of New York claiming that since the accident she has
little control over her right leg and that it is weaker than her left; that
her right knee buckles when she does not use a knee brace or cane; that her
right leg, hip, knee, and ankle constantly ache; and that due to physical
inactivity she has gained 40 pounds and has become depressed.

Ely further claimed that she has twice undergone arthroscopic surgery and a
partial meniscectomy, and that she has suffered two subsequent falls and
injured her left knee in a third fall. Ely's orthopedic expert, Dr. William
J. Walsh, testified that Ely has developed osteoarthritiis in both knees.
At an earlier trial, the state was found 100% liable for the accident. At
this trial for damages, the court awarded Ely a total of $295,000 ($130,000
for past pain and suffering, $165,000 for future pain and suffering).
Ely was represented by Bruce H. Goldstone of the Manhattan law firm
Fuchsberg & Fuchsberg. See: Ely v. State Of New York, White Plains Court of
Claims, Case No. 85774.

Source: VerdictSearch New York Reporter

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Related legal case

Ely v. State Of New York