A group of 45 law firms in the coordinated asbestos docket in New York City submitted a 14-page letter to Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Peter Moulton arguing the court’s rules unfairly advantage big plaintiffs’ firms like Weitz & Luxenberg, the firm connected to former Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver’s corruption charges. The lawyers have requested a 60-day hold on some pending asbestos cases.
The lawyers argued that after former Judge Shelly Heitler lifted a longstanding restriction on punitive damages, firms like Weitz & Luxenberg were allowed to fast-track their cases through the court, resulting in faster resolution with large verdicts. Furthermore, the court’s practice of consolidating cases for trial which had “virtually nothing in common,” forced defendants to settle rather than risk a “jackpot verdict.”
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