Jury Verdict on Future Pain and Suffering Found to be Unreasonable Compensation Against Boiler Defendant

NEW YORK – A New York appellate court has vacated the trial court’s entry of judgement of $2 million for future pain and suffering in a recent mesothelioma case and has ordered the plaintiff to stipulate within 30 days to a reduction of future pain and suffering damages to $500,000 or face a new trial on damages.

The verdict included a $5 million award for the plaintiff’s past pain and suffering, which was untouched on appeal. Although the plaintiff presented evidence that their future condition would worsen, the jury found that the plaintiff would live only one more month. Therefore, the award of future damages should cover that span of time only. According to the court, the plaintiff’s experts established that removal of boilers “resulted in exposure to asbestos dust in sufficient quantities to cause decedent’s mesothelioma.” Finally, the court noted that the jury’s apportionment of 25 percent liability against the defendant was not “against the weight of evidence.”

The case decision is provided with permission of Westlaw here.