Special Damages Allowable in New York State

Future Medical Expenses and Household Services.

Estimates regarding the “possible” or “probable” cost of future medical care for a plaintiff are not allowed in New York since such opinions are deemed speculative and without prohibitive value (Liedman v. Otis Elevator Company, 145 A.D.2d 546, 536 N.Y.S.2d 100 (2nd Dept., 1988)). Similarly, testimony about what “may” happen to a plaintiff in the future is not allowed (Melino v. Lauster, 195 A.D.2d 653, 599 N.Y.S.2d 713 (3rd Dept., 1993)).

Where a plaintiff does not actual incur expenditures for household services, having instead relied on the gratuitous assistance of relatives and friends, any award for loss of household services is improper. With regard to future damages for loss of household services, a defendant is entitled to a charge that the jury must find such services are “reasonably certain to be incurred” in the future and “necessitated by plaintiff’s injuries” before they can be awarded to a plaintiff as an element of damages (Schultz v. Harrison Radiator Division, General Motors Corporation, 90 N.Y.2d 311, 660 N.Y.S.2d 685, 683 N.E.2d 307 (1997)).

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