his education towards a Master's degree in the Science of Mathematics leading, in the natural course of events in this technological Age, to greater proficiency, increased earning potential and capacity, with a reasonably probable richer and fuller life. Indeed, he was virtually on the threshold of life's grand experiences. These are the uncontradicted facts in evidence. Against such is contrasted the plaintiff after injury. He sustained severe, complete and permanent traumatic injuries of the spine and spinal cord, with resultant quadriplegia. He was hospitalized immediately in the Atlantic City hospital, where he remained for about 4 months, and thereafter was transported to the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation, in New York, where for some 14 months he underwent extensive and arduous rehabilitative therapy. Then, as now, he is completely paralyzed from the neck down the trunk of the body including the upper and lower extremities; he has succeeded in developing some shoulder and wrist movement only. He is permanently confined to his bed or a wheel chair, and requires the assistance of a male nursing attendant to administer to his personal and private needs. Periodic check-ups, medical treatments and antibiotics have been prescribed as essential, for the balance of his life expectancy, approximately 43 years, which, according to the uncontradicted testimony of plaintiff's medical expert, was established medically to be the same as for any other young man of his age, providing he has the continuing benefit of the prescribed medical care. His injuries terminated his gainful employment. He was earning as a high school teacher $ 4,500.00 annually in the New York School System, and has a wage-loss to date of approximately $ 10,000.00. His medical bills to date approximate $ 23,964.71, and estimated further medical expenses are at least $ 1,500.00 annually. Further education, if not impossible, is at best highly improbable. These, then, are the uncontradicted facts in evidence. And it may well be noted, that in the presentations and arguments of all counsel in this case, they displayed commendable restraint, awareness of legal proprieties and utmost good taste. There was not the slightest nuance of passion or sympathy engendered by counsel.
There is nothing which would warrant, or should prompt, this Court to pretend to a wiser assessment of damages for the injuries to this particular individual, and substitute its judgment for that of the twelve jurors sworn, no less, to exercise their best judgment in the same cause. While precise formulae in the area of personal injury negligence law remain elusive and undevised, our jurisprudence demands that provision be made for fair, just and reasonable compensation. Clearly this is what the jury has endeavored to do; and it is this, nothing more or less, that this Court believes it has done. Furthermore, in the exercise of this Court's judicial discretion, it is its conviction that there was substantial basis in the evidence for the amount of damages awarded by the jury and that, under all the instant circumstances, the verdict represented fair, just and reasonable compensation.
In summary, it was the finding of this Court at the conclusion of the testimony, that the defendant, Atlantic City, was engaged in a proprietary activity within the meaning of the substantive law of New Jersey, and, as such, chargeable in negligence if found guilty of wrongdoing, and the case was so submitted to the jury with appropriate instructions on negligence and nuisance as a specific refinement thereof. However, if governmental, then this case may very well be the one that the New Jersey Supreme Court was waiting for. This could very well be, as stated by Chief Justice Weintraub in Cloyes, 23 N.J. 324, 332, 129 A.2d 1, 5 (1957) 'the case in which to consider whether to come to grips with the entire problem.' In any event, assuming, but not conceding, that the operation of the public beach be construed governmental in capacity and function, it is the view of this Court that the defense of immunity is still unavailable to the defendant because of its active wrongdoing.
There were here committed acts of commission and acts of omission -- tantamount to commission -- so overwhelmingly negligent that had a motion been made by the plaintiff for the direction of a verdict, this Court would have been hard-pressed to retreat from an obligation to grant it, and to submit to the jury for its determination, the sole issue of damages. In view thereof, it is now, after verdict, the conclusion of this Court that there was presented legally sufficient and factually ample evidence of Atlantic City's negligence. Here was a situation where an extremely perilous condition, without any warning whatsoever, was permitted to continue for an intolerable period of time, despite the reoccurrences of accidents almost daily, despite the admitted knowledge of and recognition of danger by numerous municipal employees and officials one of whom was the Director of Public Safety, the other charged with the care and maintenance of the beach, and despite countless recommendations -- if not pleas -- for the removal of these treacherous pipes. To sit idly by and countenance such known danger to the unsuspecting public, to fail to take reasonable measures to avoid disaster instead of temporizing with the situation,
is abundant proof of grossly negligent conduct. The verdict of the jury against the defendant, Atlantic City, was proper. Insofar as the propriety of the jury's verdict in favor of the defendant, Warren, the provision of a private hotel beach to its guests, knowledge of the hazardous pipes, and direction of the plaintiff by the hotel to a known place of peril, presented purely factual issues that were resolved by the jury in Warren's favor. There was substantial basis for such finding.
For all these reasons, the motions of the defendant, Atlantic City, are denied, and the verdict of the jury as recorded shall remain undisturbed.
The appropriate order may be submitted.