Advertisement

Ex-JP Morgan analyst awarded $35M decade after NYC building’s glass door suddenly shattered on her, causing permanent brain damage

Meghan Brown and her late service dog/glass door shattering on Meghan Brown
Meghan Brown and her late service dog/glass door shattering on Meghan Brown

A former JP Morgan analyst was awarded a $35 million verdict after the glass door of a Manhattan building suddenly shattered on her nearly a decade ago, leaving her with permanent brain damage, The Post has learned.

The ruling in favor of Meghan Brown, 36, followed a three-week trial in which jurors were shown shocking surveillance footage of the moment the 7½-foot-tall lobby door seemingly exploded as she was walking through it while leaving a physical therapy appointment in 2015.

“I do remember seeing glass, like, everywhere, in the lobby, near me,” Brown told jurors in Manhattan Supreme Court.

The harrowing incident at 271 Madison Ave. caused a traumatic brain injury to the then-27-year-old, leading to the demise of her promising career in investment banking.

Meghan Brown won a $35 million verdict in her suit over a glass door shattering on her, leaving her with a permanent brain injury and prompting her to eventually get a service dog. Kramer Dillof Livingston & Moore
Meghan Brown won a $35 million verdict in her suit over a glass door shattering on her, leaving her with a permanent brain injury and prompting her to eventually get a service dog. Kramer Dillof Livingston & Moore

“Well, one of the biggest problems I have with my brain is that I can’t trust it,” she said during emotional testimony March 12, according to a trial transcript reviewed by The Post.

It took about three days of deliberations for the six-person jury to unanimously rule in favor of Brown, finding that building owner 271 Madison Co.’s negligence was “a substantial factor in causing” her injuries, according to a jury verdict sheet.

Brown told jurors the injuries ultimately cost her her job as a high-level analyst, negatively affected her ability to carry out everyday tasks — and even damaged her love life.

Brown had been leaving a physical therapy appointment at 271 Madison Ave. when the lobby door shattered. Kramer Dillof Livingston & Moore
Brown had been leaving a physical therapy appointment at 271 Madison Ave. when the lobby door shattered. Kramer Dillof Livingston & Moore

In surveillance video from Feb. 2, 2015, Brown can be seen walking up to the door and leaning on it to push it open, when a man puts his hand against the door while gripping a cellphone.

The glass appears to spontaneously burst and Brown can be seen stumbling through the rain of shards.

The man helps Brown walk back through the threshold as she holds her head with her hands before standing near a wall and crumpling to the floor.

Brown told jurors she didn’t remember the moment the door fell in on her but could recall “being inside and I was on the floor. At that point there were people helping me” and glass strewn all around her.

A Manhattan jury was shown surveillance video of the door collapsing on her. Kramer Dillof Livingston & Moore
A Manhattan jury was shown surveillance video of the door collapsing on her. Kramer Dillof Livingston & Moore

Now a resident of Naples, Florida, who runs a gelato business, Brown was out for a year after the incident before going back to JP Morgan — but her career slowly declined and she was ultimately fired in 2021.

“Eventually she was let go permanently and has not worked in that type of investment banking since,” her attorney, Tom Moore, told The Post.

“She keeps trying but just can’t perform.”

Brown’s traumatic brain injury caused myriad problems — including some unusual ones like losing her sense of smell and taste and completely forgetting how to understand Spanish, a language she once spoke fluently, she told jurors.

She was diagnosed with PTSD, her executive function has slowed and her memory, focus and vocabulary have all suffered, she testified.

She’s also now highly sensitive to light, has permanent headaches and neck pain, problems with her depth perception and experiences vertigo and balance issues, she explained to the jury.

In fact, Brown got a service dog who helped prevent her from falling on many occasions, Moore said, noting the dog sadly passed just days before trial.

Brown has been forced to seek medical treatment and has seen many different types of specialists as she attempts to cope with her new normal, she testified.

She met a man after the incident, but he eventually broke off their engagement when he realized that he couldn’t have a “normal life” with her, she testified.

Brown’s attorney told the jury during closing arguments on March 25 “there is not a facet of her existence that is unaffected by her brain injuries.”

Brown could be seen stumbling through the door as it imploded around her. Kramer Dillof Livingston & Moore
Brown could be seen stumbling through the door as it imploded around her. Kramer Dillof Livingston & Moore

But Thomas Sofield, a lawyer for the building owners, tried to paint the incident as a freak accident that couldn’t have been prevented by the landlord.

He also argued to the jury that Brown couldn’t have gotten a brain injury from the way the glass broke, trial transcripts show.

“This was sort of a perfect storm of events, where you had [Brown] leaning on the door, you had the gentleman push on the door with the corner of his cellphone,” Sofield said. “It was cold out and warm in. and the force on the glass was more than it could handle.”

Sofield said the glass broke exactly like it was supposed to — into countless little pieces rather than falling as one pane.

After the door breaks, Brown is escorted back inside, where she can be seen slumping onto the floor. Kramer Dillof Livingston & Moore
After the door breaks, Brown is escorted back inside, where she can be seen slumping onto the floor. Kramer Dillof Livingston & Moore

“The truth is that the premises were reasonably safe. That defendant was not negligent. … and that Meghan Brown did not sustain a concussion or a mild traumatic brain injury in this case,” Sofield argued.

The only injury Brown suffered was a cut on her hand that required stitches, which were removed just five days later, the lawyer claimed.

He charged that Brown’s testimony was inconsistent and couldn’t be trusted.

But Moore, Brown’s attorney, argued that any issues with her testimony were a symptom of her brain injury — and that accusations that she was making up her symptoms for a payout were “preposterous.”

Brown’s side said the building had a history of issues with the glass door shattering on two prior occasions — once in 2010 and again in 2014 — and argued there was a crack in the door that lead to the incident.

“There is no evidence of any crack on the door,” Sofield countered.

Ultimately, jurors awarded Brown $35,184,208 in damages on Thursday. JP Morgan was not a party to the lawsuit.

After being forced out of JP Morgan, Brown worked for a cryptocurrency company for a while but she got fired from that job too. She opened up a small gelato business, which she runs now.

“Clearly, Meghan had no warning that she was walking into a tragic trap,” Moore told The Post. “Not so the defendant 271 Madison Company who failed to implement a modicum of care that would have prevented this injury from ever occurring.”

Sofield didn’t return a request for comment Tuesday.