Recently, the California Court of Appeal affirmed a judgment denying a plaintiff’s motion for a new trial on the ground that the damages that she was awarded by a jury in a California premises liability action were inadequate. The court rejected the plaintiff’s argument that the award of $5,000 for non-economic damages was inadequate, since the evidence had not shown that after the accident, she suffered a decreased quality of life.
The plaintiff in this case lived alone in an apartment in an adult living facility. At 91 years old, she suffered from macular degeneration and used a cane or walker occasionally. The plaintiff’s son eventually contracted for two hours of caregiving services daily, and he had made clear to both caretaker defendants (and the defendant caretaker company) that the plaintiff was not to leave the premises of the adult living facility.
After taking the plaintiff to a store, without her cane or walker, the plaintiff fell at the curb, stepping toward the car. She was taken to the hospital and found that she had sustained a right hip fracture. Her surgery and care totaled $14,118.29, which the parties agreed was reasonable and necessary. The plaintiff was discharged from the hospital and entered rehabilitative care, which totaled over $30,000.