Governor Paterson Considering Giving Personal Injury Trial Lawyers a Massive Payday

Governor Paterson is considering giving New York’s personal injury trial lawyers a massive payday which will raise insurance rates and make health care more expensive and potentially less accessible.
 
Media reports are begining to surface about the Governor’s plan to remove the State’s cap on legal fees for medical malpractice lawsuits.
 
 
New Yorkers for Lawsuit Reform strongly opposes this idea because of the devastating effect it will have on our more-than-fragile economy and health care system.  We will be working on behalf of all New Yorkers to ensure that this poorly conceived idea does not move forward.  This is, plain and simple, a money grab by New York’s personal injury trial lawyers.
 
In fact, NYLR is looking to extend the schedule of caps on legal fees currently used for medical malpractice cases to other types of legal actions in order to ensure that victims — not personal injury trial lawyers — are compensated for their injuries.
 
We strongly supports A.10695, a bill introduced by Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn) that would limit the amount of money that personal injury trial lawyers can take from victims.  As stated in the bill memorandum of support, limitations help to assure that a plaintiff is fairly compensated for his or her injury, and that major parts of the awards are not diverted to pay what are often huge attorney fees in addition to all other disbursements that a suing plaintiff must reimburse their attorney.
 
This has been a major issue recently as the families of the victims of the World Trade Center disaster have seen hundreds of millions of dollars which should go to them and their families, be diverted to attorneys.  At one time, the lawyers proposed receving more than a quarter of a billion dollars but recently “settled” for about half that amount.
 
“The rescue workers on Ground Zero at the World Trade Center helped us recover from one of the worst tragedies this nation has ever experienced. They sacrificed their health on a daily basis and inhaled toxic dusts from the debris of WorldTradeCenter. They are our true heroes who should not be taken advantage of. If anyone should be compensated, it is these workers who are the shining examples of what our citizens represent: unity, hard work and diligence,” stated Assemblyman Ortiz.
 
In the coming days, NYLR will be sending you more information about this dangerous proposal to give New York’s personal injury trial lawyers even more money and Albany influence.  It will be critical for all of us to let our legislators know that we do not support giving more money to the personal injury trial lawyers.
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