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Grayson v. Irvmar Realty Corp.

Citation. 7 A.D. 2d 436 (1959)
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Brief Fact Summary.

The Supreme Court of New York ruled that a person may recover damages for lost future earnings even though the individual has not yet started his profession but is merely talented enough or possesses a special talent that it is clear he or she would have made those earnings. 

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

Normally, an individual who id already employed may recover damages for future earnings as a result of an injury, but, when a person is not employed he may only recover for future earnings if he possesses a special or rare talent if the damages are measurable and not excessive. 


Irvar Realty Corporation (Defentnat) is being sued for negligence as a result of Grayson’s (Plaintiff) fall in front of the defendant’s property. Plaintiff suffered a broken leg as well has minor hearing loss when her head hit the pavement. Plaintiff was an aspiring opera singer at the time of the accident. Plaintiff’s claim of negligence rests on the premise that the property was not properly lit which resulted in Plaintiff’s injury. Plaintiff provided testimony from her singing coaches stating that Plaintiff was a future star. The trial court awarded $50,000 in damages and Defendant appeals.


May someone who is unemployed who has a special talent recover damages for loss of future earnings if the damages are not excessive and are measurable?


Yes. The court determined that a person with a rare talent who can prove measurable damages may recover loss of earning damages if the injury prevents the plaintiff from developing her talents. In this case, Plaintiff suffered hearing loss which affected her pitch while singing. 


The court is one of the first to establish a rule regarding recovery of monetary damages for an unemployed future star with a special talent.

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