FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 17, 2015
Contact: Phoebe Stonbely
New York Asbestos Court Goes from Worst to Second Worst in U.S. in Latest ‘Judicial Hellholes’ Report
National Group Cites the Conviction of Speaker Silver as a ‘Reason for Hope,’ Slides NY Court to #2 Spot
ALBANY – In their annual “Judicial Hellholes” report, the American Tort Reform Foundation has named the New York City Asbestos Litigation court (NYCAL) as the second worst Judicial Hellhole in the nation. Noting the recent arrest and conviction of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, the report moved the NYCAL from worst to second worst. “With Silver perhaps headed to prison and the pro-plaintiff judge who headed New York City’s asbestos docket retired and replaced, the Big Apple may begin to bob up from the bottom of the barrel,” said the report.
Local lawsuit reform advocate Tom Stebbins, from the Albany-based Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York, says the incremental improvement is nothing to crow about. “Look, it took the entire state of California to knock a single New York court off the perch as the worst in the nation,” said Stebbins. “That’s nothing to be proud of.”
Observing the corruption conviction of Sheldon Silver, Stebbins urged that although some faces have changed, others have not, and key decisions are still pending. “At the request of Weitz and Luxenberg, the previous head judge consolidated cases, ended a long-standing agreement, and considered reintroducing punitive damages. Until we have resolution on those issues, it is hard for anyone to say if the court has truly improved.”
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The Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York (LRANY) is a nonpartisan not-for-profit association of businesses, professionals, healthcare providers, membership organizations, taxpayers, and concerned citizens committed to changing New York’s legal system to help create jobs and energize our economy.