Metro

Verdict reduced to $29M for burned student, still highest NY payout

[ad_1]

An appeals court Thursday cut in half the $60 million jury award for a Beacon High School student who was horribly burned in a since-banned chemistry experiment gone awry — still making it the largest payout in New York.

Alonzo Yanes was awarded the massive sum in 2019 after jurors heard about his horrific experience getting third-degree burns over 30 percent of his body at age 16 after a chemistry teacher was demonstrating the “Rainbow Experiment” — which uses highly flammable methanol to light various salts to produce different-colored flames.

Yanes was injured during a botched "Rainbow Experiment" in his chemistry class.
Yanes was injured during a botched “Rainbow Experiment” in his chemistry class in 2014.
Yanes suffered third-degree burns on 30 percent of his body as a result of the experiment gone wrong.
Yanes suffered third-degree burns on 30 percent of his body as a result of the experiment gone wrong.
Steven Hirsch

The Appellate Division, First Department Thursday acknowledged that the excruciating burns, recovery, and the struggles ahead for Yanes, as he must live out the rest of his life with disfiguring scars, but still found the jury’s award “excessive.”

The decision laid out that the verdict should be reduced to $12 million for past pain and suffering and another $17 million for the future.

Yanes' family sued the city and teacher Anna Poole over the accident.
Yanes’ family sued the city and teacher Anna Poole over the accident.
Steven Hirsch

“We were hoping for more but we are pleased that this was the largest amount ever allowed by the Appellate Division for pain and suffering in New York,” Yanes’ lawyer Ben Rubinowitz told The Post.

Yanes’ parents sued the city Department of Education and teacher Anna Poole for the botched experiment in January 2014, claiming they neglected a slew of safety protocols in carrying out the experiment — which is no longer demonstrated in Big Apple schools.

A city Law Department spokesperson said, “This experiment is no longer used in city schools.”

“We argued for an award consistent with damages in similar cases, and the court reduced it by half,” the statement continued.

In April, the First Department reduced Mark Perez’ $101 million verdict — for a fall he took at a 2013 concert that left him with a fractured skull — to $20 million, which was the previous highest payout until Thursday’s ruling.

[ad_2]
Source link