NYCAL Jury Returns $25 Million Verdict in Mesothelioma Case Supreme Court, New York County, September 28, 2015
A NYCAL jury returned a $25 million verdict in a living mesothelioma case in favor of a 64-year-old mechanic, who worked at a variety of dealerships and gas stations in Colorado and Virginia, among other places, over the years. Defendant Ammco was a manufacturer of brake grinders and was found liable on a failure to warn theory. While the jury also apportioned responsibility to nine of the 10 other companies on the verdict sheet, it found Ammco 86 percent responsible, which in New York makes the company jointly and severally liable for the entire verdict, less post-trial offsets. The jury awarded $10 million for 22 months of past pain and suffering and $15 million for future pain and suffering. The jury also found that Ammco acted with reckless disregard for the safety of others, which in many cases is significant because that finding eliminates the limitation on joint and several liability in New York. However, the joint and several liability limitation for noneconomic loss only applies if a defendant is found less than 50 percent liable. Since Ammco was found 86 percent responsible, the recklessness finding has little significance.