Dustin Dibble was intoxicated when a Manhattan subway train ran over him in 2006, but a jury found the transit authority 65% responsible in February: $2.3 million for the lost right leg.
James Sanders stumbled onto the tracks and was hit by a train in 2002, but a New York City jury again found him only 30% responsible: $7 million for a lost right leg and eye.
Gloria Aguilar did not look both ways when she crossed the street; there was a dispute whether she was in the crosswalk. A Manhattan jury–after a seven-week trial–found the transit authority 100% responsible, and awarded $27.5 million for her lost left leg; a judge refused to reduce that figure.
Clearly a left leg is more valuable than a right leg. Or, as I’ve noted several times in the past, noneconomic damages are essentially random jackpots.
New York City is appealing all three verdicts. (Liz Robbins, “Woman Run Over by Bus Is Awarded $27.5 Million”, New York Times, Apr. 16).