FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 8, 2016
Contact: Phoebe Stonbely
‘Collette’s Law’ Introduced to Curb Abusive Lawsuits in New York
Assemblywoman, Reform Advocates Push for Tougher Sanctions for Abusive Lawsuits
Albany, NY – In April of 2014, Collette McLafferty’s life was turned upside down. After performing just one $75 gig with a P!nk cover band, the singer was served with a $10 million lawsuit by the group’s co-creator. The lawsuit accused McLafferty of being “ugly and untalented,” hurting his image and entitling him to millions in damages. Collette had never met the accuser.
Assemblywoman Maritza Davila (D-Bushwick) took notice of Collette’s story and today she introduced the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act, also known as “Collette’s Law” in the New York State Assembly. The bill increases sanctions against those who file abusive lawsuits and requires them to pay the other party’s legal costs. Collette herself spent over ten thousand dollars in legal fees defending herself in her lawsuit.
“Collette’s story really resonated with me, a hardworking talented woman was stopped on her path of success by a deceitful and selfish act of abuse. We need to prevent others from using our legal system as a weapon and instill regulations that bring actions against those who try,” stated Assemblywoman Davila.
“This situation has humiliated me publicly, damaged my reputation, my career, and my livelihood. This is harassment; legalized extortion plain and simple. Nobody should have to go through what I’ve been through. This is the first step in the fight for justice for lawsuit abuse victims,” said Collette McLafferty.
Longtime advocates for legal reform were similarly pleased with today’s bill introduction, “We applaud Assemblywoman Davila’s courage and compassion. Collette’s Law will ensure the legal system is used to protect, not abuse, New Yorkers,” declared Tom Stebbins, Executive Director of the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York.
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The Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York (LRANY) is a nonpartisan not-for-profit association of businesses, professionals, healthcare providers, membership organizations, taxpayers, and concerned citizens committed to changing New York’s legal system to help create jobs and energize our economy.