Studies & Research

Studies and Research

NYCJI research and studies

Electronic copies of all completed research are available for viewing and download below.

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Ethics and Experts: Costs of the For-Profit Expert Witness Industry

A study produced by the New York Civil Justice Institute exposes the moral quandaries in the American for-profit expert witness system. Among some of the key findings: Experts in other countries are often appointed by the judge, not a lawyer. Laws regulating experts are not keeping up with the evolving industry for testimony. The costs of retaining experts vary widely by state and are a significant cost of litigation. Pay-to-play testimony inherently includes several moral hazards. There are several methods to mitigate potential bias and reduce litigation costs

(Press Release)(Full pdf)"

A Matter of Trust? How Access to Asbestos Trust Claims Information Affects Cases in New York Courts

Trust information is essential in litigation for parties and juries to properly value cases. For cases in New York, the information remains difficult to obtain and is oftentimes intentionally withheld. Incomplete information leads juries to inaccurately allocate liability.

  • October, 2019 - Press Release:The New York Civil Justice Institute today released a report, “A Matter of Trust: How Access to Asbestos Trust Claims Information Affects Cases in New York Courts,” which highlights how asbestos plaintiff attorneys intentionally delay the filing of asbestos bankruptcy trust claims, a tactic which disadvantages defendants and misleads juries as to the source of and significance of a plaintiff’s exposure to asbestos. Attorneys Mary Margaret Gay and Sarah Beth Jones, founding partners at Gay, Jones, & Kuhn PLLC who authored the report, reviewed more than 100 asbestos-related personal injury claims filed in New York City and Upstate New York jurisdictions.(Press Release)
  • (Full pdf)

    Groundbreaking Study Highlights Prejudicial Consolidation Practices in State’s Asbestos Litigation Court

    Researchers find jury awards triple the national average, little commonality among consolidated cases

    • May 27, 2015 - Press Release: The New York Civil Justice Institute (NYCJI), a non-partisan nonprofit research organization, has released a groundbreaking study on the controversial case consolidation practices of the New York City Asbestos Litigation court (NYCAL). The NYCAL, recently named the #1 Judicial Hellhole by the American Tort Reform Association, frequently consolidates cases in the name of “judicial efficiency. (Press Release and Final Report)

    The Costs of Labor Law 240 on New York’s Economy and Public Infrastructure

    • February 19, 2014 - Press Release: A three-part, joint study released today by researchers at the University at Albany and Cornell University sharply counters the claim that the Scaffold Law improves workplace safety. According to the study, New York incurs an additional 677 workplace accidents per year  because the Scaffold Law. Researchers concluded that, “analysis indicates that Labor Law 240 [Scaffold Law] increases the construction injury rate in the occupations to which it is applied with a very high degree of confidence.” For over thirty years, Labor Law 240, also known as the “Scaffold Law,” has been a frequent target of debate in Albany. (Full pdf)
    • December 31, 2013 - Final Report to New York Civil Justice Institute: The Costs of Labor Law 240 on New York’s Economy and Public Infrastructure (Full pdf)

    Review of New York Bill S4006: Proposed Expansion of New York's Wrongful Death Act

  • Property Casualty Insurers and Policyholders (Commercial Insurance Market): Focusing on the three main lines of insurance with the greatest exposure to wrongful death claims, medical professional liability, automobile liability, and general liability the report estimates an overall $1.9 billion or 12.8% increase to annual loss and loss adjustment expenses in New York. This could translate to a corresponding $2.2 billion or 12.6% increase to the annual premiums paid by New York residents and businesses for insurance.
  • Self-Insureds – Based on the projected changes to the commercial insured losses as a result of S4006, the report estimates that annual liability losses paid by self-insureds in New York could increase by 15.9% or $1.6 billion. (Full pdf)
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