Here Illegally? So What.

In Lopez v. Sunrise One, a jury awarded plaintiff $1,706,714 for future medical expenses with the award intended to compensate plaintiff over 28 years.  Defendant Sunrise moved to set aside the award, contending the court improperly allowed testimony regarding plaintiff’s inability to work and improperly precluded admission of evidence of plaintiff’s immigration status.  The court granted defendants motion regarding future medical expenses, as it found the award was not supported by the evidence in the record. The court, however, reaffirmed its decision to preclude evidence of plaintiff’s immigration status, relying on Angamarca v. New York City Partnership Hous. Dev. Fund Inc., 87 A.D.3d 206 (1st Dep’t 2011). The trial court, following Angamarca, noted that the issue of citizenship lacked probative value as to the jury’s calculation of damages because no evidence was presented that plaintiff was planning to return to his native country or that deportation was imminent, and no additional evidence was proffered regarding the lower cost of future medical care in plaintiff’s native country.

While you can attack future medical expenses on a basic lack of proof, plaintiff’s status as an illegal alien cannot be used to attack an award of future medical expenses — or otherwise.

Thanks to Alison Weintraub for her contribution to this post.  For more information, please email Dennis Wade at dwade@wcmlaw.com.