On December 25, 2015 at about 2 a.m., Raul Matos and Stephen Hiraldo were involved in a fight outside their apartment building at 161 West 108th Street in Manhattan. Mr. Matos, then 36 years old, claimed that Mr. Hiraldo punched him in the back of his head causing him to fall down stairs and sustain injuries. Mr. Hiraldo claimed he acted in self-defense.
In the ensuing lawsuit against Mr. Hiraldo, the jury determined that both parties were equally at fault for the incident and they awarded pain and suffering damages (before apportionment) in the sum of $250,000 ($125,000 past – six years, $125,000 future – 35 years).
In Matos v. Hiraldo (1st Dept. 2022), the judgment has been affirmed.
Here are the injury details:
- bilateral jaw fractures (left mandible and right subcondylar)
- open reduction internal fixation surgery to place plate and screws in mandible
- second procedure four months later to unwire and remove hardware
- continuing numbness and pain
- Defendant was charged with misdemeanor assault; he pled guilty to disorderly conduct, a simple violation.
- In his summation, plaintiff’s attorney asked the jury to award damages in the sum of $500,000.