In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation
- Case Date: 11/1/2013
- Project Name: Civil Justice Reform
On April 9, 2014, the Supreme Court of New York abandoned its longstanding case management order that for the past 20 years had indefinitely deferred claims for punitive damages in all New York City asbestos liability lawsuits. The decision was a setback for WLF, which filed a brief urging that the deferral policy be maintained. Joined by other civil justice reform groups, WLF argued that the policy was justified by the need to preserve the still-available funds for the benefit of those who are likely to develop asbestos-related diseases in the future. WLF also argued that punitive damages are unwarranted in these cases because the few defendants who remain solvent bear little responsibility for exposing the plaintiffs to asbestos. Although the court held that punitive damages claims could be pursued in New York City, it emphasized that punitive damage awards are permissible in truly exceptional cases only.
More Information and Downloads:
11/1/2013: Download the Brief