NYCAL Issues Bombshell Decision, Ruling Exposure to Friction Products Is Incapable of Causing Mesothelioma and Rejecting the Cumulative Exposure Theory

In a decision that could change the landscape of NYCAL asbestos litigation in New York, Justice Barbara Jaffe issued a post-trial decision following an $11 million verdict against Ford, essentially precluding Drs. Steven Markowitz and Jacqueline Moline on Frye grounds because there is no established scientific connection between exposure to friction products and mesothelioma. Additionally, Justice Jaffe ruled that the plaintiff’s theory of cumulative exposure without quantifiable exposure is insufficient to establish legally sufficient asbestos exposure.

Justice Jaffe determined that the testimony of the plaintiff’s …

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Post-Trial Dismissal of Plaintiff’s Claims Adhered to Upon Motion for Rehearing and Reargument

In this NYCAL case, a New York City jury found that Con Edison, as the premises owner, was 30 percent responsible for the plaintiff’s asbestos-related injuries under New York’s Labor Law § 200(1). On a post-trial motion, the trial court ruled that “absent legally sufficient evidence demonstrating, as a matter of law, that Con Edison supervised or controlled Brown’s work at Ravenwood, defendant sustained its burden of proving that the jury could not have reached its verdict on the issue of Con Edison’s liability pursuant …

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$190 Million Verdict Reduced to Under $30 Million

Following the highly publicized $190 million verdict in NYCAL in five consolidated asbestos cases, the defendants were successful in reducing the collective award to just under $30 million on a post-trial motion. While the trial court rejected the defendants’ arguments on certain evidentiary issues, causation, apportionment, consolidation, and recklessness, it recognized that the verdicts materially deviated from what would be reasonable compensation.

The court applied the reasoning from the recent appellate court ruling in the Dummit case where the First Department assessed reasonable compensation based …

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