U.S. Supreme Court VICTORY!
NFIB urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review (and ultimately overturn) a Tennessee court decision that upheld a $5,000,000 judgment for a retired railroad worker who fears that his past exposure to asbestos may cause him to develop cancer in the future.
Emotional distress damages based on a fear of developing cancer should only be available in cases in which the alleged fear is demonstrated to be "genuine and serious." No limitation was imposed in this case; instead, the jury was granted unlimited discretion to award the plaintiff any damages it deemed appropriate for the emotional distress the plaintiff claimed to have endured.
Status: DECIDED. Amicus brief filed in support of damage limitation on March 16, 2009. On June 1, 2009, the Court approved of the “genuine and serious” fear of cancer jury instruction limitation in asbestos cases.