This was the NY Post Headline yesterday...

Beaten up cop awarded $15M after being mistaken for criminal

Then, the next sentence got me outraged...

An NYPD cop is set to become rich at taxpayer expense — after a jury awarded him $15 million for an injury he suffered in an off-duty scuffle with fellow officers.

Here's why I was so upset with the way the NY Post reported this story.

(1) An injured victim doesn't get "Rich" when a jury determines that someone who was careless now is legally obligated to pay the victim money damages for all the harms, losses and injuries they suffered.

(2) When a jury reaches a decision about whether the injured victim has shown that he is more likely right than wrong that what he is claiming is true, that is not an "Award."

An injured victim doesn't walk away from litigation and a hard-fought trial with a prize.

It's not a consolation prize. Getting hurt badly because someone was careless is not going to a carnival and getting a big stuffed animal as your award for throwing the ball into the target.

Nobody wakes up in the morning and says "Let's see how badly hurt I can get today because I want to get rich!" That's total bull. However, that's exactly the impression today's NY Post article gives you.

You ask ANY seriously injured victim whether they'd rather have their health back and continue on with their lives unburdended by their injuries or whether they want a substantial amount of money and live their limited life with permanent disabilities, the answer will always be their health.

It distubs me greatly any time a newspaper or TV report proclaims that a jury verdict is an "Award." 

How many injured people in a wheelchair feel lucky because they've accomplished getting hurt in a car crash as a passenger? Do they hand out these lucky certificates in the ICU when they're hooked up to life-saving machines? Maybe they give them out post-operatively after a surgeon has tried to put your internal organs together for the past seven hours while you've lost half of your blood volume.

Maybe instead, they have an award ceremony at city hall, where you are called up to be given your award by the mayor. The 'award' says "Congratulations on getting permanently injured! You are now disabled for life. CONGRATULATIONS! We hope you have a wonderfully disfunctional life."

You can sense the sarcasm in my last paragraph, can't you?

By the way today's NY Post article reads, you'd think that's exactly what this off-duty NYPD cop was AWARD for being hurt so badly that it may destroy his career. He must surely feel great about that award.

You should know that the attorney for the City of New York will ask the trial judge to reduce the verdict or throw it out, claiming that the verdict is against the weight of the trial evidence.

No matter what decision the trial judge reaches, unless the verdict is thrown out, he will appeal that decision to a higher court.

He will ask the Appellate court to either reduce the remaining verdict or throw out the verdict, again claiming that there is no possible way this jury could have reasonably reached the conclusion they did based upon the evidence presented at trial.

To get a sense of how truly outraged I am by the way the New York Post reported this article, I invite you to watch the video below...


Gerry Oginski
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NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer