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NEW YORK-A judge has thrown out a $5.3 million jury verdict in a keyboard injury suit against Digital Equipment Corp. after new evidence suggested that the plaintiff's injury may not have been work-related.
In a ruling last week in New York, U.S. District Court Judge Jack B. Weinstein said he would call for a new trial in light of the new evidence, filed earlier this month by Digital. The evidence includes a previously undisclosed medical report that concludes the wrist injuries Patricia Geressy suffered were caused by a neck condition unrelated to her work as an executive secretary for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Plaintiff's attorney Steve Phillips with the New York firm of Levy, Phillips & Konigsberg said the information, which was part of Ms. Geressy's workers compensation claim file, had been available during trial but that defendants did not focus on it until afterwards. He said he will appeal the ruling.
The judge also dismissed a $302,000 award to a co-plaintiff in the case because the statute of limitations had expired. No information on the age of the claim by Jill Jackson, a former legal secretary, was made public.
However, he let stand a $274,000 award to Jeannette Rotolo, a former billing clerk with the Long Island Jewish Medical Center. Digital said it would appeal that ruling.
"We are pleased with the judge's decision to overturn the two verdicts, and we plan to appeal the third," a company spokesman said. The award had been the first verdict against a keyboard maker sued for allegedly causing repetitive motion injuries (BI, Dec. 16, 1996