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Nabors v. Consolidated Rail Corp.

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT


May 18, 1979

ROBERT NABORS, PLAINTIFF - APPELLEE,
v.
CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION, DEFENDANT - APPELLANT .

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut.

Present: HON. STERRY R. WATERMAN, HON. THOMAS J. MESKILL, Circuit Judges, HON. INZER B. WYATT,*fn* District Judge.

This cause came on to be heard on the transcript of record from the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut and was argued by counsel.

Defendant appeals from a judgment entered on January 23, 1979, in the United States District Court, District of Connecticut, upon the denial of its motion for a new trial. Plaintiff sued for damages pursuant to the Federal Employers Liability Act, 45 U.S.C. ยง 51 et seq., for injuries sustained on January 22, 1978, while employed by the defendant. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff to recover six hundred thousand dollars damages which included a specific award of five hundred thousand dollars damages for future lost wages.

On appeal defendant claims that there was insufficient evidence of causation and permanent disability to go to the jury with the question of future lost wages and that the award of damages was excessive.

In view of plaintiff's history and the testimony of Dr. Silverstein, plaintiff's attending neurosurgeon, linking the fall to the injury, there was sufficient evidence to support the jury's finding that the fall caused the disabling injury. Dr. Silverstein also testified that at the time of trial plaintiff was permanently and totally disabled and placed him within the 25 percent of those who "have not gotten back to work after this type of treatment." Thus we find no merit in appellant's claim that there was no evidence that plaintiff would not be able to return to gainful employment, thus making it error to submit the question of future lost wages to the jury.

In view of plaintiff's age, life expectancy, current and projected earning capacity and the trial judge's charge to the jury to reduce plaintiff's damages for future lost wages to present cash value, we hold that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying appellant's motion for a new trial on the ground that the jury's award was excessive.

ON CONSIDERATION WHEREOF, it is now hereby ordered, adjudged, and decreed that the judgment of said district court be and it hereby is AFFIRMED.


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