For Immediate Release
October 12, 2016
Contact: Phoebe Stonbely
New York’s Construction Insurance Higher than Neighboring States
Legal reform advocates, insurers blame notorious Scaffold Law
“Taxpayers watch as millions are wasted”
(Albany, NY) – According to data obtained from the Insurance Services Office, New York continues to lead the pack in general liability costs for construction work when compared to other states – a fact that increases insurance premiums and raises the cost of public infrastructure projects.
Insurers underwriting New York City construction jobs paid out a whopping $424.06 per $1000 of payroll, compared to just $165.44 in Philadelphia according to the data published today..
Tom Stebbins, Executive Director of the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York, a group that advocates for fairness in the civil justice system, blames the super-sized costs on lawsuits filed under a nineteenth century construction law known as the “Scaffold Law.” The law, which holds contractors fully liable for construction accidents even if a worker was intoxicated or violating safety protocols, only exists in New York.
“These differences are staggering,” said Stebbins “the fall-and-get-rich Scaffold Law is a financial burden that squashes job growth. When it comes to public projects like a new Penn Station, the taxpayers will watch as millions are wasted.”
Ellen Melchionni, President of the New York Insurance Association agreed with Mr. Stebbins, “The exploitation of the Scaffold Law is a huge drain on New York’s economy. This antiquated law creates an unlimited funding source for lawsuits and has not proven to increase safety on construction sites,” she said.
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.
*Raw Data Available Upon Request*