Filing a Mesothelioma Claim in New York
According to a leading industry report, New York City was the second-most popular jurisdiction for mesothelioma lawsuit filings in 2019. That year, it handled 6% of U.S. mesothelioma claims, which include personal injury lawsuits, wrongful death lawsuits and asbestos trust fund claims.
New York is home to some of the strictest asbestos laws and regulations in the country, a result of the extensive amount of asbestos used throughout the state from the 1800s through the 1970s.
It wasn’t until the 1970s that the U.S. government began enacting laws and regulations to limit the use of asbestos. Implementation of these laws took time, which meant many people were still heavily exposed throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
New York is known for its rich industrial history. Factories, textile mills, power plants, manufacturing plants and shipyards used many asbestos products on a daily basis. The workers employed at many of these facilities were exposed to dangerous amounts of asbestos.
A number of these workers later developed asbestos-related diseases and hired a New York mesothelioma lawyer to help them seek compensation.
For example, in 1991, a New York judge consolidated 850 cases filed by power plant workers to expedite their claims. Around the same time, two other judges consolidated 600 cases filed by asbestos-exposed workers from the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
New York military bases and shipyards are known hot spots for asbestos contamination. Military veterans in the state may file VA claims for benefits, and they have access to VA health care.
You should not rely on any information herein to make a determination about your legal rights. Please speak to an attorney licensed to practice law in your area to best understand your legal options.
Asbestos Exposure in New York
New York state is No. 5 in the U.S. for mesothelioma and asbestosis deaths. The state’s high ranking is attributed to its rich industrial and manufacturing history. New York is often called the birthplace of the asbestos manufacturing industry.
In 1858, a predecessor of the Johns Manville Corporation began using anthophyllite mined in Staten Island to manufacture asbestos insulation. Over the next century, asbestos use spread to a variety of industrial applications in New York and beyond.
Workers in New York were exposed to asbestos products in factories, manufacturing plants, power plants, shipyards, schools and public buildings. Public housing and private homes were also built with asbestos-containing construction materials.
New Yorkers who develop asbestos-related diseases have several options in the state for specialized treatment. Some of the most renowned mesothelioma treatment centers in New York include Mount Sinai Hospital, NYU Langone Medical Center and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.
New York Industries Known for Asbestos Exposure
- Power generation
- Metal works
- Paper milling
- Insulation installation
- Oil refining
- Chemical processing
Mesothelioma Law Firms Practicing in New York
Attorneys at the mesothelioma law firm Weitz & Luxenberg are based in New York City, while firms like Simmons Hanly Conroy have offices in New York. These mesothelioma lawyers specialize in asbestos litigation and understand federal asbestos regulations and New York state statutes.
Nationwide Mesothelioma Law Firms
There are a number of top law firms that specialize in asbestos cases in New York, including:
- Weitz & Luxenberg
- Cooney & Conway
- Simmons Hanly Conroy
- Nemeroff Law
- Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman
New York residents with mesothelioma should choose a nationwide mesothelioma law firm because they have experience with different types of cases in nearly every state.
According to a 2019 industry report, many New York residents end up filing their claim in-state. However, it’s not in every resident’s best interest to file in New York. Firms that practice nationwide know the best state in which to file your claim.
Mesothelioma patients in New York may take advantage of the fact that experienced asbestos law firms such as Weitz & Luxenberg, Cooney & Conway and Simmons Hanly Conroy have offices in New York City.
If you can’t make it to one of these offices, a nationwide firm will come to you. Representatives from these firms travel to clients throughout the country to conduct interviews and depositions, and they won’t charge you for their travel expenses.
A top mesothelioma attorney can secure the maximum value of your case. They have the experience and reach to stand up to the companies that exposed you or your loved one to asbestos.
In 2022, Weitz & Luxenburg secured $43 million for a mesothelioma patient after a jury found Algoma Hardwoods, Inc. responsible for asbestos exposure.
Asbestos Verdicts Awarded to New York Workers
- $75 Million in 2017: A New York jury awarded $75 million to Marlena Robaey, who claimed she developed peritoneal mesothelioma in 2012 and pleural mesothelioma in 2016 as a result of secondary exposure to asbestos through her husband. Some of the defendants listed in Robaey’s claim settled out of court. This is one of the biggest mesothelioma verdicts in the state’s history.
- $2.5 Million in 2008: A New York jury awarded $2.25 million to the family of a former electrician at the Brooklyn Navy Yard who developed mesothelioma.
- $22 Million in 2004: The estate of another former electrician who worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard was awarded a total of $22 million.
Many asbestos claims are settled out of court in New York. A select few go to trial and may result in substantial verdicts.
New York mesothelioma lawyers are known to get settlements worth more than a million dollars for their clients. They are also known to secure six-figure payouts from asbestos trust funds.
New York Asbestos Laws and Regulations
New York has enacted a number of laws and regulations to promote safe handling and removal of materials containing asbestos. The New York State Asbestos Law, known as Industrial Code Rule 56, protects the public from exposure to asbestos.
Additionally, New York City has its own set of asbestos laws known as the NYC Asbestos Control Program. Other laws involving asbestos are found in the New York Compilation of the Rules and Regulations (NYCRR).
Regulations Governing Asbestos in New York
- New York State Asbestos Law (Industrial Code Rule 56): Describes proper procedures for handling and disposing of asbestos materials. It also requires all work which disturbs asbestos materials be done by licensed asbestos abatement professionals.
- NYC Asbestos Control Program: Oversees New York City’s set of asbestos laws.
- 10 NYCRR Part 73: Regulations for training asbestos abatement workers and those providing safety training.
- 12 NYCRR Part 56: Regulations involving public safety during asbestos abatement projects.
- 6 NYCRR Part 360: Regulations for properly disposing of asbestos waste.
- 6 NYCRR Part 364: Regulations on how to safely transport asbestos waste.
State Departments Overseeing New York’s Asbestos Laws
- New York State Department of Labor’s Asbestos Control Bureau: Enforces asbestos laws, inspects asbestos projects, responds to complaints and shuts down work if violations are found.
New York Laws Affecting Asbestos Lawsuits
- New York Civil Practice Law and Rules Section 214: Defines the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in New York.
- New York Civil Practice Law and Rules Section 1411: Defines New York’s negligence laws.
Asbestos Litigation Trends in New York
Many mesothelioma lawsuits have been filed in New York courts. That’s primarily because New York is a hot spot for asbestos exposure. The state’s industrial facilities, factories, mills, power plants and shipyards employed many people who worked with asbestos products.
Between 1998 and 2000, New York was among five states that captured 66% of the nation’s asbestos lawsuits. In 2000, New York and California led the nation in the number of asbestos case filings.
New York courts have developed procedural rules and practices to deal with the number of cases. For example:
- The New York City Asbestos Litigation was developed to handle cases filed by residents of New York City and people exposed in the city.
- Courts in New York City and Syracuse, New York, have established “inactive dockets” for asbestos cases. These courts place cases of claimants who allege asbestos exposure but are currently unimpaired on a separate inactive docket. Discovery and processing of such cases is delayed until the plaintiff’s injuries have progressed.
- New York courts also adopt procedural rules and issue case management orders to address a backlog of cases. For instance, under “first in, first out” procedures, claims of terminally ill claimants are set aside for accelerated trials during one month, twice a year.
- These case management orders also include procedures for “clustering” groups of similar cases for trial and discovery. For example, multiple cases handled by a single mesothelioma law firm may be clustered into a group.
- New York is among the states that allow setoffs. If a claimant has received compensation from an asbestos trust fund, any defendant that they sue may deduct the amount of trust compensation from a court award.
- New York courts may require a plaintiff to file trust fund claims prior to a trial for a personal injury claim or wrongful death claim.