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Tom Stebbins of The Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York speaks on Monday, March 29, 2021 in Albany, New York. Photo: Hans Pennink/AP Tom Stebbins of The Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York speaks on March 29, 2021, in Albany, New York. Photo: Hans Pennink/AP

In the wake of an intermediate state appeals court handing down the largest pain-and-suffering damages award in New York history, the defendant company has quickly filed for reargument and dozens of business, insurance and other industry groups are engaging in public outcry, with the leader of one group arguing that the $20 million award’s expected far-reaching impact “poses an existential financial threat to New Yorkers of all stripes.”

Tom Stebbins, executive director of the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York, which along with nearly 30 other industry and advocacy organizations weighed in as amici curiae in the lawsuit’s appeal, is also contending loudly that the Appellate Division, First Department court’s record-setting award, handed down in April to a 37-year-old brain-injured man, “virtually guarantees an increased burden on the judiciary and a bonanza of [personal injury suit] forum-shopping to Bronx and New York Counties,” which are the two counties served by the influential intermediate First Department appeals court.

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