Oden v. Chemung County Industrial Development Agency

661 N.E.2d 142 (1995)

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Oden v. Chemung County Industrial Development Agency

New York Court of Appeals
661 N.E.2d 142 (1995)

JL
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Facts

Oden (plaintiff) was a 48-year-old ironworker who was injured by a steel column at a worksite owned by Chemung County Industrial Development Agency (Chemung). Oden’s injuries permanently disabled him from employment, and he was granted disability retirement. Oden sued Chemung for negligence and labor- law violations. A jury awarded Oden past damages for medical expenses, lost earnings, and suffering. The jury also awarded future damages of $66,000 for lost pension benefits and $80,000 for future lost earnings. Citing a state statute allowing courts to lower damages to reflect collateral-source payments, the trial court reduced Oden’s future damages by $141,330, the amount of his expected retirement benefits. On appeal, the New York Appellate Division reinstated Oden’s $80,000 for future lost earnings, ruling that because retirement benefits were unrelated to future income, they could only reduce Oden’s lost pension. Chemung appealed to the New York Court of Appeals.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Titone, J.)

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