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Coffee Break Bonanza: Jury Award For Spill Reduced By Appellate Division

June 11, 2008

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In Griffin v. Starbucks Corporation, the plaintiff was injured when defendant's employee slid a cup of coffee across a counter toward plaintiff, causing it to spill on her left foot and burn it. A trial resulted in a jury award of $50,000 for past pain and suffering and $250,000 for future pain and suffering. After post trial motions, the trial court ordered a new trial unless plaintiff agreed to $150,000 as the award of future pain and suffering. The Appellate Division, First Department found the future pain and suffering award deviated materially from what would be reasonable compensation and ordered a new trial unless plaintiff agreed to an award of $25,000.
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