Changes to New York’s wrongful death statutes

Please join us in calling on Governor Hochul to veto changes to New York’s wrongful death statutes. We’ve been advocating against these changes for years. Along with our hospital, insurer, business, and municipal partners, we continue to do so as we engaged the Governor, her administration, and legislators to inform them of the onerous impact of this legislation.


Today, we need the voice of healthcare providers to register strenuous opposition to the proposal.


In the closing hours of this year’s session, the legislature passed wrongful death legislation in the form of S.74-A/A.6770. It is now waiting for Governor Hochul’s action. The proposal dramatically changes the wrongful death landscape in New York by expanding the types of damages to include grief and anguish and grows the class of people who can recover as the undefined category of “close family members.” These changes would apply retroactively to pending cases while the statute of limitations would be stretched from two years to three-and-a-half years and be subject to the state’s current 9 percent per annum calculated from the date of death to judgment.


We know this proposed change is estimated to increase medical professional liability insurance by 39.5 percent1. For example, if this bill is signed into law the average annual obstetrics and gynecology rate for physicians practicing in the New York City area is expected to raise $57,804—from $146,340 to $204,1442. This reality coupled with the perverse litigation incentives mentioned above can destabilize the state’s medical liability tort system and negatively impact access to healthcare for many New Yorkers.


New York healthcare professionals are vital to the state’s success. You should not be targeted by personal injury lawyers who are seeking expansive law changes to line their pockets and increase the costs of healthcare in New York. We appreciate your commitment to the practice of good medicine and are grateful for your opposition of this bad legislation in New York.


Please take a moment to make your voice heard. The form is prepopulated with a letter to Governor Hochul that you may choose to personalize or send in its original form.


For questions or comments, please contact advocacy@thedoctors.com.


Robert A. Kauffman

President

Healthcare Risk Advisors, Administrator for Hospitals Insurance Company

Part of TDC Group

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