New York’s highest court recently clarified how to determine future damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. In Toledo v. Iglesia Ni Christo, 2012 N.Y. Slip. Op. 00089 (Jan. 10, 2012), a case involving the death of a worker in a construction accident, the New York Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s acceptance of the plaintiff’s proposed judgment in the amount of $4,295,595.
To help simplify the often confusing and daunting task of computing future wrongful death damages, we have summarized the court’s decision in the following step-by-step guide:
In support of this ruling, the Court of Appeals cited to the long history of rulings in New York State where damages in a wrongful death case include prejudgment interest and the date from which the prejudgment interest accrues is the date of death. The court also pointed out that the interest is not to be construed as a penalty against defendants as the fundamental concept of “interest” is to allow for the plaintiffs to receive compensation for not being able use money that was owed to them.