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NY Court Of Appeals Defines "Permanent And Severe Facial Disfigurement"

March 24, 2008

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In its recent decision in <em></em><em>Fleming v. Graham</em>, <em></em>the Court of Appeals articulated a standard for assessing claims of "permanent and severe facial disfigurement " for the purpose of qualifying as a "grave injury" exception to the Workers' Compensation bar. The Court ruled that "an injury disfigures the face when it detrimentally alters the plaintiff's natural beauty, symmetry or appearance, or otherwise deforms. A disfigurement is severe if a reasonable person viewing the plaintiff's face in its altered state would regard the condition as abhorrently distressing, highly objectionable, shocking or extremely unsightly. In finding that a disfigurment is severe, plaintiff's injury must greatly alter the appearance of the face from its appearance before the accident."
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