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July 10, 2015

New York Appeals Court Modified Heitler ‘Punitive Damages’ Order

A New York appeals court on Thursday declined to overturn a ruling that allowed — for the first time since 1995 — asbestos plaintiffs to seek punitive damages.

The court, however, modified the April 2014 holding of former New York City Asbestos Litigation coordinating judge Sherry Klein Heitler which had allowed initial application for punitive damages to be delayed until “the conclusion of the evidentiary phase.”

In reaction to the development, ILR Executive Vice President Harold Kim commented:

“The appellate court was correct that Judge Heitler’s Order failed to provide any of the necessary procedural safeguards required in connection with punitive damages, and as a result, denied due process to defendants. We encourage Judge Peter Moulton to again bar punitive damages in NYCAL, as was the practice for almost 20 years before Judge Heitler’s decision to bring them back at the request of plaintiffs’ law firms.”

All punitive damages claims have been stayed until new procedures are laid out by Justice Moulton.

Read the full story here.

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