Mental Anguish Damages Example Cases in New York

The following cases address mental anguish damages awarded by State Division of Human Rights (SDHR), and one addresses an award by the City of New York Commission on Human Rights. In Wantagh Union Free School Dist. v. SDHR, 122 A.D.2d 846, 505 N.Y.S.2d 713 (2nd Dept. 1986), the Court found that an award for "mental anguish" damages of $ 5,000, "established by the testimony of the complainant alone . . . cannot be termed grossly excessive." In School Board of Education of the Chapel of the Redeemer Lutheran Church v. Commission, 188 A.D.2d 653, 591 N.Y.S.2d 531 (2nd Dept. 1992), the Second Department reduced a $ 12,000 award for mental anguish as excessive to $ 7,500 because "an award of $ 7,500 is more consistent with awards for comparable injuries and proof of mental anguish made in the past.'" Id. at 654. In Town of Lumberland v. SDHR, 229 A.D.2d 631, 644 N.Y.S.2d 864 (3rd Dept. 1996), the Third Department reduced an award of $ 50,000 for emotional distress and humiliation, based solely on the complainant's testimony and a single visit to a physician who gave her a one-time prescription for tranquilizers, to $ 20,000.