First New York State Appellate Level Additur Decision Issued New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, September 13, 2018

NEW YORK — With little to no analysis, the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court affirmed various decisions issued by the trial court in 2017 during a ten day trial, wherein the plaintiff alleged development of mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure. These included, among other rulings: granting defendants Crane Co. and Warren Pumps motion to quash trial subpoenas; denial of defendant Jenkins Bros.’ motion to set aside the verdict; granting of the plaintiff’s motion to set aside the verdict to the extent of directing a new trial unless defendant stipulated to an increase in various damage awards.

The trial court also properly precluded defendants from: eliciting testimony from the plaintiff’s expert regarding asbestos exposures from nonparty products; introducing evidence of the plaintiff’s alleged exposure to asbestos in Scotland. Further, the jury was properly charged on the issue of recklessness; evidence of continued exposure to the defendant’s valves through 1986 could support a jury’s finding that the defendant was aware that workers such as the plaintiff were at risk from asbestos exposures.  Lastly, although the trial court properly directed a new trial on damages as to past pain and suffering unless defendant agreed to increase the award to $4 million, the jury’s award of $1.5 million for future pain and suffering should be reinstated, as this award did not materially deviate from reasonable compensation.

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