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New trial ordered over $102M award in workplace fall

New trial ordered over $102M award in workplace fall

A concert promotion company has been granted a new trial over a $102 million award it argued was excessive in the case of a worker who fell and suffered a serious head injury while hanging a sign, according to a ruling issued by the Supreme Court of New York County.

Mark Perez was 30 years old at the time of his 2013 accident at a theater in Wantagh, New York, and medical testimony indicated he would likely suffer for the rest of his life. Following a number of medical interventions, including four brain surgeries and an induced coma, he filed a suit against New York-based Live Nation Worldwide Inc., arguing that the company failed to create a safe worksite, according to documents in Mark Perez v. Live Nation Worldwide, Inc., and Live Nation Marketing, Inc., filed in New York.

In 2016, the state Supreme Court issued a ruling in Mr. Perez’s favor, determining that Live Nation was “statutorily liable,” and the matter proceeded to a jury trial on damages. In 2019 a jury awarded Mr. Perez $102,114,768, including compensation for past pain and suffering and for past and future lost wages and medical expenses.

Live Nation, which had requested the award be set at $5.9 million, filed a motion to set aside the jury award, which it argued was “excessive and contrary to the weight of evidence.”

The state Supreme Court agreed and ordered that Mr. Perez accept a reduced award totaling $53.7 million within 45 days or that the matter be directed for a new trial to establish a new award.  

“Where, as here, a court determines that certain jury awards in a personal injury action are excessive, the proper procedure is to set aside those portions of the verdict and direct a new trial thereon, unless the plaintiff stipulates to the reduced amount,” the ruling states.