Dozens and potentially hundreds of plaintiffs in asbestos cancer lawsuits in New York state have been left in a bind after Governor Andrew Cuomo enacted serious budget cuts to the states’ court systems as a cost saving measure due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The $300 million in cuts to the New York state court system went into effect back in September 2020, after the governor used his executive authority to compensate for the shortfall in his state’s revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Under New York state law, all judges over 70 years old must be recertified every two years by the state court administration. The interplay between the recertification process for judges and the state’s budget shortfall means that four dozen judges did not receive their recertification, in order for the state to save the state money, and will no longer be hearing cases from the bench as of the start of the new year. Estimates put the savings to the state at around $55 million over the next two years from the court system but these will likely have a significant impact on the plaintiffs awaiting trial.
As a result of these actions by New York state, hundreds of asbestos cancer plaintiffs will have their cases pushed back by weeks or even months and years. Unfortunately, time is not a luxury that many asbestos cancer plaintiffs have, as their mesothelioma cancer diagnosis leaves them with just months to live by the time their doctors inform them of their prognosis. Sadly, many are likely to never have their day in court to confront the asbestos companies that caused their terminal cancer diagnosis.
Mesothelioma is a rare and deadly form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, which is a naturally occurring mineral once used in a variety of industrial, commercial, and military applications. New York is home to many big companies that once utilized asbestos in their products, among those are Kodak, Xerox, and RG&E. Sadly, mesothelioma has a long latency period of anywhere from 20 to 50 years before doctors are able to make a diagnosis and inform patients of their outlook.
In the tragic event that an asbestos cancer plaintiff passes away before he or she can have her day in court, the law gives surviving family members to carry on the case on the deceased’s behalf and hold the wrongdoers accountable. By filing a mesothelioma lawsuit, plaintiffs can recover the cost of their of their medical bills, lost wages, and compensation for the pain and suffering of living with the deadly disease.
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If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.