Jury awards nearly $60 million to ex-student burned in NYC class

NEW YORK -- A jury has awarded nearly $60 million to a former high school student disfigured by a chemistry experiment.

The Manhattan jury returned the $59.17 million verdict Monday in Alonzo Yanes' favor.

The 21-year-old Yanes was 16 when a fireball erupted as his Beacon High School teacher conducted an experiment with a gallon jug of methanol.

Yanes testified about his injuries during a month-long trial.

In a statement, the city law office said it is exploring legal options to reduce the award to fit awards upheld by courts in similar cases. It said that as a result of the "tragic accident," the experiment is no longer performed.

Yanes' attorney, Ben Rubinowitz, said his client would reject the jury award "in a heartbeat" if he could be his undamaged self again.

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