New York Personal Injury Law Blog » Personal Injury, tort reform


July 20th, 2007

New York Appellate Court Decides Eyes Are Not Window To Soul

Poets will not be happy. Nor lovers. Nor anyone else that has gazed into the eyes of another to see what they say.

A New York appellate court has decided that the loss of an eye is not a “grave injury” under the Worker’s Compensation law. Because the victim had a prosthetic eye, the court ruled, he didn’t have a “permanent and severe facial disfigurement” as defined by the law.

The Court wrote:

Here, the record contains no evidence that plaintiff suffered a severe facial disfigurement as a result of the injury sustained. Although a surgically removed eye clearly results in a permanent condition, plaintiff wears a prosthesis which is removed only once a year for cleaning. As Supreme Court aptly noted, the photographs of plaintiff wearing the prosthesis demonstrate little difference, if any, in his facial appearance before and after the accident.

Who needs legislative tort “reform” to strip away rights when a conservative judiciary can do it for you?

Perhaps the plaintiff would have had better luck if he had quoted President George W. Bush discussing Vladamir Putin:

I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straight forward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue

Of course, that didn’t work out so well, so maybe the court was right.

This miserable decision can be found here: Giblin v. Pine Ridge Log Homes, Inc.

(Eric Turkewitz is a personal injury attorney in New York)

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