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The major development in NYCAL in 2022 was the return of a full complement of jurors to the courthouse and the resumption of jury trials. In 2022, more than half a dozen NYCAL cases started jury selection before resolving, and two mesothelioma cases – one involving a living plaintiff – were tried to verdict. The two cases taken to verdict were tried before Justice Suzanne Adams.
The first of the two NYCAL cases to go to verdict in 2022 was brought by the Simmons Hanly firm on behalf of the estate of Munir Seen, a former construction worker. The sole remaining defendant at the time of the verdict was Kaiser Gypsum. The jury awarded $15 million in damages. The second case to go to verdict was brought by Weitz & Luxenberg on behalf of James McWilliams, a former steamfitter. In this case, the jury awarded $23 million in damages ($13 million for past pain and suffering and $10 million for future). At the time of the verdict, only Jenkins Bros. remained as a defendant.
As for new fillings, here is by-the-numbers review:
14: Number of plaintiffs’ law firms filing asbestos personal injury cases in NYCAL in 2022 (unchanged from 2021).
296: Number of NYCAL actions filed in 2022 (up from 276 cases in 2021).
54: Number of NYCAL actions filed in 2022 involving allegations of exposure to asbestos-contaminated talc products. That number is more than double the number of such filings in 2021.
131: Number of NYCAL actions filed by Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C. in 2022. Weitz & Luxenberg has long been and continues to be the leading filer of NYCAL cases, but its percentage of the overall number of new filings was reduced this year due to significant filings made by the firms who took the second and third spots: Meirowitz & Wassenberg, LLP, which filed 63 NYCAL cases, and Simon Greenstone, which filed 38 NYCAL cases.
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.