Brief the case
Plaintiff injured party sought review of a judgment from the Court of Appeal, Fifth Circuit, Parish of St. James (Louisiana), which reduced by one-half the $ 1,700,000 in damages plaintiff was awarded in a negligence action brought against defendant tortfeasors after plaintiff’s leg was injured while working as a boatswain.
While working as a boatswain, plaintiff injured party’s leg was crushed. Thereafter, plaintiff brought a negligence action against defendant tortfeasors, and the trial court awarded plaintiff $ 1,700,000. When the court of appeals cut the award in half, review was sought, and the court reversed. The court held that even though the court of appeals had considered the medical injuries, consideration had not been given to trauma, physical and mental agony, the injury’s grotesque appearance, the fear of further injury, the inability to fulfill family responsibilities, continuing medical care, the injury’s effect on plaintiff’s marriage and self-esteem, plaintiff’s anxieties, and continued swelling, numbness, and pain. The court also held the award had not been the result of passion and had been reasonably related to the elements of the proven damages. Finally, the court held that even though other triers of fact could have decided a lower award was appropriate, it could not be concluded from the evidence, viewed in a light most favorable to plaintiff, that a rational trier of fact would not have awarded $ 1,7000,000 or that the award was so gross as to be contrary to reason.
The court reversed a judgment reducing damages plaintiff injured party was awarded in a negligence action brought against defendant tortfeasors after plaintiff’s leg was injured because the court of appeals had failed to consider the particular effect of the particular injury on plaintiff, the award had not been the result of passion, and the award had not been beyond that which a reasonable trier of fact could assess for the injury’s effects.