ROUX v. CAIOLA

Reset A A Font size: Print

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.

Rose ROUX, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. Sal CAIOLA, et al., Defendants-Appellants.

Decided: October 22, 1998

Before MILONAS, J.P., WILLIAMS, ANDRIAS and SAXE, JJ. Brian J. Isaac, for Plaintiff-Respondent. Paul F. McAloon, for Defendants-Appellants.

Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Richard Lowe III, J., and a jury), entered October 21, 1997, awarding plaintiff damages of $150,000 for past pain and suffering, $82,000 for past medical expenses, $250,000 for future home attendant services and $250,000 for future pain and suffering over a ten year period, plus interest, costs and disbursements, unanimously affirmed, without costs.

Plaintiff's expert witness did not usurp the function of the court when he referred to the Multiple Dwelling Law and the Building Code in support of his opinion that a single step stair is inherently dangerous and a deviation from good and accepted building practice (Multiple Dwelling Law § 52[1];  Administrative Code of City of N.Y. § 27-375[d][2];  § 27-369[e] ).   Courts regularly permit expert testimony on the question of whether a certain condition or omission was in violation of a statute or regulation (see, Dufel v. Green, 84 N.Y.2d 795, 622 N.Y.S.2d 900, 647 N.E.2d 105;  see also, Murphy v. Broadway 48-49th St. Assocs., 246 A.D.2d 392, 668 N.Y.S.2d 25;  Redcross v. State of New York, 241 A.D.2d 787, 789-790, 660 N.Y.S.2d 211, lv. denied 91 N.Y.2d 801, 666 N.Y.S.2d 563, 689 N.E.2d 533;  Rodriguez v. City of New York, 189 A.D.2d 166, 170-171, 595 N.Y.S.2d 421;  Portilla v. Rodriguez, 179 A.D.2d 631, 578 N.Y.S.2d 241).   There is no merit to defendants' contention that the expert was actually testifying as to the meaning and applicability of the law (compare, Rodriguez v. New York City Hous. Auth., 209 A.D.2d 260, 618 N.Y.S.2d 352).   The awards for future home attendant services and for past and future pain and suffering do not deviate materially from what is reasonable compensation under the circumstances, and we note defendants' failure to contravene plaintiff's medical evidence with expert evidence of their own (see, Rubin v. First Ave. Owners, 209 A.D.2d 367, 618 N.Y.S.2d 793).   We have considered defendants' remaining arguments and find them to be without merit.

MEMORANDUM DECISION.