The New York State Law Digest publishes significant procedural developments, whether they come from important decisions of the Court of Appeals or other New York state (or federal) courts, statutory or rule amendments or particular local practice issues. The Law Digest keeps NYSBA members updated on issues that impact their everyday practices of law. Edited by David L. Ferstendig, the Law Digest is published monthly and distributed to members free of charge, as a benefit of membership.
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Split Court of Appeals Rules Defendants Did Not Demonstrate Effectiveness of 1997 Release as a Matter of Law
Dissent Complains That Majority Effectively Renders All Releases Executed by Seamen Unenforceable
In Matter of New York City Asbestos Litig., 2019 N.Y. Slip Op. 01259 (February 21, 2019), Mr. South (together with hundreds of other plaintiffs) had previously sued Texaco (together with 115 other defendants), back in 1997, in the District Court in Ohio. He alleged then that he had sustained injuries as a result of his 1950s exposure to asbestos when he was a merchant marine working on ships owned by Texaco. Shortly after Texaco was served, a settlement was reached, in which Mr. South claims to have received $1,750.
A judgment of dismissal with prejudice was entered, and Mr. South executed a release, giving up the right to bring an action “for any new or different diagnosis that may be made about Claimant’s condition as a result of exposure t any product.” At that time, Mr. South was suffering from a nonmalignant pulmonary disease. Read more here.