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Personal Injury Law: Cryptosporidium Blog
New York Water Park Cryptosporidium Outbreak Update
By Bill Marler
As you know, we were scheduled to engage in a mediation with the State in an effort to resolve the Class personal injury claims. However, shortly before the mediation date, the State informed us that it would not mediate. Instead, and contrary to its earlier communications, it stated it feels it is not liable and will be bringing some motion before the Judge to challenge some or all of the claims. If this sounds confusing and frustrating it is. As yet it is not clear exactly what the State intends to do except that it does not want to agree to settle claims for which it will have to pay. This decision appears to have come from the top level of the Attorney General's office. It is quite likely that the State's current financial difficulties play some role in its decision to back out of the mediation. We can only speculate if Attorney General Cuomo's decision to run for Governor was a factor.
Mediation is a voluntary settlement effort. The State cannot be compelled to participate. The existing Court schedule does require the State to file any motion it may choose to that seeks dismissal of any or all claims within 30 days of the unsuccessful mediation. That clock is running but we have not seen anything from the State as yet. Like you, we too are extremely frustrated by this turn of events. We will continue our efforts to engage the State in settlement discussions by reaching out directly to those key decision makers with the State. We remain confident that these claims are meritorious and that the State will have to recognize its responsibility sooner or later.
We will definitely move the case forward and will plan to try the liability part of the case if the State refuses to negotiate. The Judge in the case has determined that the liability phase of the case should be tried before any damages are determined. This will streamline the process and allow for negotiations should the Judge find the State liable to Class claimants. We do not have a date for such a trial but expect it would not be until late this year or early next year. Further updates will follow when we know more.
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