Court Overturns $500K Slip-and-Fall Verdict

     (CN) – A jury incorrectly awarded a woman $500,000 for a slip and fall 16 years ago that she blamed on an evacuation from the World Trade Center, a New York appeals court ruled.

     Charla Mitchell sued the New York and New Jersey Port Authority, which ordered an evacuation plan at the World Trade Center after it was originally bombed in 1993.
     Mitchell walked down 100 flights of stairs during the evacuation, and blamed the slip-and-fall 10 days later on the evacuation.
     A jury awarded Mitchell $480,000 to cover pain and suffering for the next 24 years, but only $20,000 for the past 16 years. However, the trial judge set the verdict aside and ordered a new trial.
     The justices of the Manhattan-based 1st Department Appellate Division agreed.
     “In view of the severity of plaintiff’s injury, the sharply contested issue of causation, and the inexplicable inconsistency of the damages awards, an impermissible compromise verdict is, as the trial court found, ‘strongly indicated,'” the appellate justices wrote.

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