The New York City Asbestos Litigation (NYCAL) is a court that is highly regarded for its ability to process numerous mesothelioma and asbestos-related lawsuits. It is also known for overseeing some of the cases that distribute the highest dollar amount verdicts to victims of negligence on the part of asbestos companies. Now that court has issued a change in procedures that will allow even higher awards to be given to asbestos victims, and the asbestos company attorneys are up in arms and prepared to fight.
A group that largely represent the asbestos companies that defend against mesothelioma lawsuits recently filed a brief attempting to vacate the new case management order issued by NYCAL. That order has made it possible for plaintiffs seeking compensation for the damage that they have suffered to begin seeking punitive damages against those responsible for their illnesses. Punitive damages go beyond economic damages, and look for juries to exact punishment on the companies that negligently disregarded the safety of those working with asbestos. When punitive damages are available, asbestos companies generally have to pay out even higher amounts of money.
According to some of the objections included in the brief, asbestos company representatives are arguing that avoiding punitive damages benefits mesothelioma victims. The say that eliminating them would not only “preserve the amount of company resources that can compensate deserving victims, but to accelerate trials, speed recovery, and avoid lengthy appeals.”
Though those who have joined the brief are indicating that they are trying to preserve “limited funds that otherwise may be needed to compensate future plaintiffs,” those who represent the victims of asbestos exposure believe it is important for mesothelioma and asbestosis victims to be able to seek punitive damages in order to truly get justice for the wrong that has been done to them, and to send an important message to other companies about acting with responsibility towards those who will use their products.
If you or someone you love needs to learn more about your legal rights regarding mesothelioma, asbestosis, or any other asbestos-related illness, contact us today at 1-800-966-2244.