The New York Legal News Round Up
The New York Legal Blog Round Up

How Much of Your Finger Must Be Missing to Constitute a "Grave Injury"?

Gavel2 In Castillo v 711 Group, Inc., 2008 NY Slip Op 01255, the Third-Party Appellant apparently believed that although Workers' Compensation Law § 11 expressly defined "grave injury" as including the loss of one's index finger, the plaintiff did not suffer a grave injury since an "amputation stump" remained on his injured index finger.

Specifically, "the plaintiff demonstrated that he lost both interphalangeal joints of his left index finger, leaving a 'painful amputation stump" that required two corrective surgeries to desensitize.'"

Not surprisingly, the New York Court of Appeals rejected the Third-Party Appellant's argument and denied its motion for summary judgment, concluding that:

(The) plaintiff established that he suffered the "loss of an index finger" within the meaning of Workers' Compensation Law § 11 (cf. Mentesana v Bernard Janowitz Constr. Corp., 36 AD3d 769, 770 [2d Dept 2007]; Blackburn v Wysong & Miles Co., 11 AD3d 421, 422 [2d Dept 2004]; McCoy v Queens Hydraulic Co., 286 AD2d 425, 425 [2d Dept 2001]).

Thank goodness.  I don't know about you, but I'd have been both concerned and disconcerted had the court accepted the hyper-technical argument that no grave injury existed since a "stump" remained.


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