The Fourth Department noted that defendant, in this traffic accident case, should not have been allowed to testify that she did not receive a traffic ticket. The court also noted that the trial judge properly determined the damages for past pain and suffering should be increased, but that the proper procedure is to order a new trial unless the defendant stipulates to the increased amount. The trial judge had unconditionally increased the damages amount:
It is well established that “[e]vidence of nonprosecution is inadmissible in a civil action” … . In our view, however, that was the only error during trial … . We conclude that, “standing alone” … , the error was harmless, and therefore the court properly denied the motion insofar as it sought to set aside the jury verdict and a new trial on all issues (see CPLR 2002).
Plaintiff further contends that the jury’s damages award for pain and suffering materially deviated from what would be reasonable compensation for plaintiff’s injuries and that the deviation was not cured by the court’s increase of the award for past pain and suffering. We reject that contention. We conclude that the court properly determined that the jury’s verdict for past pain and suffering should be increased to $125,000 and that the award for future pain and suffering did not materially deviate from what would be reasonable compensation for plaintiff’s injuries (see CPLR 5501 [c]). The court, however, erred in unconditionally increasing the past pain and suffering award. ” [T]he proper procedure when a damages award is inadequate is to order a new trial on damages unless [a] defendant stipulates to the increased amount’ ” … . Queen v Kogut, 2019 NY Slip Op 04863, Fourth Dept 6-14-19