are available to the plaintiff in view of the nature of her injuries.
The question actually boils down to what limits are placed on plaintiff's ability to perform as a soprano as a result of the injuries she sustained on May 11, 1968. This is a particularly difficult question to answer in view of the unique career sought after by plaintiff. However, plaintiff's damages, if any, are not to be determined by the uniqueness of her career but rather by the evidence introduced which establishes the economic horizons which she has lost as a result of the accident.
The medical evidence introduced at trial tends to show that plaintiff's complaints are almost entirely related to the pain she experiences in her right knee and right hip. This pain has a direct effect on plaintiff's ability to concentrate, as she must, on producing certain notes while singing and it also affects her ability to produce certain movements required of a dramatic opera performer. Plaintiff is conscious of a "clicking sound" in her right knee when she moves it, and this distraction also affects plaintiff's concentration while performing. Finally, plaintiff's right knee swells and becomes stiff with prolonged use which limits her movement on stage as well as her ability to endure a lengthy performance.
However, the testimony tends to support the conclusion that plaintiff will be able to perform certain operas in her present condition if some staging modifications are made to accommodate her limitations. We are further impressed by the fact that plaintiff appears to be a strong individual with a great desire to achieve success in her chosen field despite the existence of her present limitations. This assumes, of course, that plaintiff will not undergo knee surgery or if she should decide to undergo surgery, that such surgery would not be successful. Plaintiff's physician and expert, Dr. Tronzo, testified that knee surgery probably would be successful.
Also, plaintiff is able to sing concert music with little limitation on her voice except that she may lose her concentration while attempting to reach very high notes because of the clicking in her knee or the pain she experiences. In 1972, plaintiff earned $1,000 per concert, and in 1973, she earned $1,500 per concert, and the prospects for her future as a concert singer are good. Plaintiff has also made several recordings of various works, and we feel will continue to do so in the future. Although plaintiff's recognition as a first rank soprano will be affected to some extent by the limits placed on her as a result of her injuries, we believe that she will achieve significant recognition as a first rank soprano despite those injuries. Therefore we are of the opinion that plaintiff's economic horizons have not been as severely diminished as plaintiff contends. We are of the opinion that the sum of $75,000.00 represents reasonable and fair compensation for loss of future earning capacity reduced to present worth.
Other areas of damage for which plaintiff seeks recovery include past housekeeping and baby-sitting expenses, past loss of earnings, past and future pain and suffering and future medical expenses. We award the following amounts as reasonable compensation for the approximate categories of damage:
(1) past housekeeping and baby-sitting $ 56.00
(2) past loss of earnings 288.60
(3) past and future pain and suffering 5,000.00
(4) future medical expenses 2,000.00
(5) Past Medical expenses 788.02
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