Asbestos litigation is different than the typical personal injury lawsuit. Asbestos cases tend to involve many of the same defendants (companies that are sued), many of the same law firms representing plaintiffs (the people who file the lawsuit), many of the same law firms representing the defendants and many of the same expert witnesses. In asbestos litigation, there are also many job sites that are commonly litigated because they are places where many workers were exposed to asbestos and became sick with mesothelioma, lung cancer or asbestosis. Asbestos litigation is also different because the plaintiffs usually have serious illnesses that require that the case be accelerated to give the injured person the best chance of possible of having their day in court. For all of these reasons, many courts in the United States have set up “asbestos dockets” where cases can be filed and proceed more efficiently under special rules applicable to asbestos cases. We have published a guide for the asbestos litigation system in New York and New Jersey below:
New York City Asbestos Litigation
For residents of New York City or people who were exposed to asbestos in New York City (i.e. in any of the five boroughs of New York), and who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer or asbestosis that is sufficiently severe, cases can be filed in the New York City Asbestos Litigation (“NYCAL”). NYCAL cases are governed by a Case Management Order that applies to all cases. The NYCAL docket is divided into two sections: in extremis cases (i.e. those involving people living with mesothelioma or lung cancer) and FIFO cases (i.e. those involving predominantly people who are deceased at the time of filing or whose medical condition is not sufficiently severe). The in extremis docket, which consists of cases filed during two “windows” of time each year, is an accelerated trial track in which cases can be completed in as soon as one year or less. The FIFO cases (FIFO stands for “first in, first out”) are handled in the order in which they are filed and generally take longer because of the lack of medical exigency. For more information on the NYCAL asbestos litigation docket, go to www.nycal.net. To read about a recent jury verdict that Levy Konigsberg LLP has obtained in the New York City Asbestos Litigation, go to https://www.levylaw.com/mesothelioma-lawyer.php
Upstate New York Asbestos Litigation
There are various asbestos litigation dockets in Upstate New York. Justice Charles C. Merrell presides over the 5th Judicial District (consisting of the following counties: Onondaga, Oneida, Oswego, Herkimer, Lewis, and Jefferson) is handled by a single Judge experienced in asbestos cases. The 5th Judicial District cases are governed by a special case management order for asbestos cases. The 5th Judicial District asbestos litigation is centered in Syracuse, New York where many of the court proceedings and trials take place. For more information on the 5th Judicial District Asbestos Litigation, go to http://www.nycourts.gov/courts/5jd/rules.shtml and then click on the document entitled “Asbestos Case Management Rules (3/01)”. To read about the largest verdict in the history of the 5th Judicial District Asbestos Litigation, go to https://www.levylaw.com/newyork-mesothelioma-lawyers.php
Justice Richard T. Aulisi presides over all asbestos cases arising in the 4th Judicial District (consisting of the following counties: St. Lawrence, Franklin, Clinton, Essex, Hamilton, Warren, Washington, Fulton, Saratoga, Montgomery, Schenectady), the 3rd Judicial District (consisting of the following counties: Sullivan, Ulster, Greene, Columbia, Albany, Schoharie, Rensselaer) and the 6th Judicial District (Delaware, Otsego, Broome, Chenango, Madison, Cortland, Tioga, Chemung, Tompkins, and Schuyler). Many court proceedings in this combined asbestos docket take place in Johnstown, New York and in Schenectady, New York. To read about the largest verdict in the history of the 4th Judicial District Asbestos Litigation, go to https://www.levylaw.com/asbestos-lawyers.php
Justice Daniel J. Doyle presides over the asbestos docket based in Rochester, New York. This is the 7th Judicial District Asbestos Litigation (which includes the following counties: Steuben, Yates, Livingston, Seneca, Cayuga, Ontario, Wayne, Monroe). For more information on this asbestos litigation docket, you can go to http://www.nycourts.gov/courts/7jd/courts/s&c/asbestos.
There are also accelerated asbestos litigation dockets in both Erie County (Buffalo) and in Niagara, NY.
New Jersey Asbestos Litigation
For residents of New Jersey or people who were exposed to asbestos in New Jersey, and who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer, or asbestosis, cases can be filed in the New Jersey Asbestos Litigation based in Middlesex County, New Jersey. The Honorable Ana C. Viscomi presides over the New Jersey Asbestos Litigation. Cases are tried at the courthouse located in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Cases involving people living with mesothelioma can often get to trial in approximately one year. For more information about the New Jersey Asbestos Litigation, go to http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/mass-tort/asbestos/department.htm. For information on a recent jury verdict in the New Jersey Asbestos Litigation, go to https://www.levylaw.com/new-jersey-mesothelioma-attorneys.php
There have also been some asbestos cases litigated in Bergen County, New Jersey. Levy Konigsberg obtained the largest compensatory damages verdict ever upheld in an asbestos case in the United States. This verdict was obtained in Bergen County, NJ. The jury awarded $30.3 million to our client, the family of a man who died from mesothelioma, and the verdict was upheld on appeal and paid in full by the trial defendant, plus additional money in interest. To read more about the this historic New Jersey asbestos verdict, go to https://www.levylaw.com/newjersey-mesothelioma-verdict.php
For more information about asbestos litigation in New York or New Jersey, call Levy Konigsberg LLP at 1-800-637-6529 or submit an online inquiry on this website.
Under the law of most states, pain and suffering from mesothelioma may be compensated through the award of money damages, usually obtained with the help of experienced mesothelioma attorneys. In some states other types of damages may also be recovered.
Asbestos litigation affords mesothelioma victims the opportunity to receive financial compensation and hold accountable the companies that caused their asbestos exposure.
- Preserve your rights to bring a legal action against the responsible parties within the limited time frame allowed by law, known as statute of limitations;
- Obtain maximum compensation in your case by being able to:
- Preserve evidence and establish facts of the asbestos exposure while the claimant is still alive and able to provide information;
- File and resolve a lawsuit against the responsible parties before they file for bankruptcy or, if they already have, to obtain compensation before their bankruptcy trust funds run out of money;
- Expedite your case, as courts tend to give higher priority to mesothelioma lawsuits where the claimant is still alive.