Today we do a by-the-numbers review of the New York City Asbestos Litigation (NYCAL) in 2019, focusing on cases filed, tried, and resolved.

15: Number of plaintiffs’ law firms filing asbestos personal injury actions in NYCAL in 2019.

322: Total number of NYCAL actions filed in 2019.

199: Number of NYCAL actions filed in 2019 by Weitz & Luxemberg, P.C. As in years past, the vast majority of NYCAL actions were filed by lawyers with Weitz & Luxemberg. The next largest filer was Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP, with 33 new NYCAL cases. Belluck & Fox, LLP rounded out the top three filers with 16 new cases. Eight firms filed 7 or fewer asbestos personal actions in NYCAL.

314: Number of trial-ready NYCAL cases resolved in 2019.

2: Number of NYCAL cases tried to verdict in 2019. The results were evenly split.

The first NYCAL case tried to verdict in 2019, Lefrak v. Aerco Int’l, Inc., et al, New York County Index Number 190033/2014, resulted in a defense verdict. Lefrak was tried before Justice Martin Shulman. Jury selection began on February 19; opening statements were made on March 12; and the defense verdict was returned on March 27.

The second case, Olson v. Brenntag North America, Inc., New York County Index No. 190328/2017, was a cosmetic talc case and resulted in a $25 million compensatory and $300 million punitive damages verdict against remaining defendant Johnson & Johnson. Olson was tried before Justice Gerald Lebovitz. Jury selection began on January 21; opening statements were made on February 11; and the final verdict was returned on May 31.

LDE represents certain defendants in NYCAL, as well as in other counties in New York State and in the Asbestos Multi-County Litigation in New Jersey. Bernard Daskal has been representing defendants in asbestos litigation for over 20 years.