Trial Lawyers on the Loose in the Capital

LRANY Urges Strong Opposition to Trial Lawyer Payday Bill

Senate Bill 3766 (Bonacic) and Assembly Bill 625 (Weinstein) are on the floor in their respective houses, and may pass as soon as today. Disguised as a minor legal change, this legislation would unjustly force a non-settling defendant to make critical and costly decisions without necessary information.  Worse, the bill opens a loophole where a plaintiff could receive more than a jury has awarded.  A few key facts about this legislation:
  •  Pressures on defendants to settle – those who do not settle must roll the dice and risk paying more than their fair share.
  • According to Greater New York Hospital Association estimates, the bill would raise medical liability costs by 5%, or $80 million.
  • Would make it less likely for a doctor or hospital to take a case to trial, even if they have a strong case.
  • This bill would increase the number of malpractice cases which are settled, which is unnecessary. Currently, 90% of malpractice cases are settled because going to trial is extremely costly. In fact, 28 percent of medical malpractice cases are settled in the absence of any proof of negligence.

This legislation is a sop to the Trial Bar and would reduce the tort system to a gamble, increasing costs to taxpayers, doctors, and hospitals while enriching trial lawyers. Already listed as a “Crisis State” for medical liability by the American Medical Association, this legislation would exacerbate the situation by encouraging doctors to flee the state, driving up healthcare costs, and ultimately impacting New Yorkers’ ability to access care.

Please send a message to your elected legislator by clicking here!  Tell them that New York can’t afford to keep making life better for the trial lawyers.

Lawsuit Reform Helps Drive Texas Recovery

The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that much of Texas’ economic recovery — leading the nation in job growth since the recession — is attributable to lawsuit reform.  “….one of Texas’s huge competitive advantages is its ongoing reform of the tort system, which has driven litigation costs to record lows.”

Imagine if we tried that in New York.

You can read the whole article here.

The Dangers of Lawsuit Loan Sharking

Over the next several months you will be hearing a lot about Lawsuit Loan Sharking.  LRANY strongly opposes this practice in New York.  Please take a look at this fact sheet to learn more.

Look to this page and our other LRANY communication resources for information on attempts to make Lawsuit Loan Sharking  a more accepted practice in New York.

“New Yorkers Should Not Be Asked to Choose Between Patient Safety and Tort Reform. They Deserve Both.”

Dr. Howard Minkoff, the chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Maimonides Medical Center, wrote a great op-ed in the Sunday, April 17 Times Union which points out the disingenuous nature of the arguments against malpractice reform in New York State.  Click here to see the whole article.  LRANY continues to work to keep this critical issue alive in the Legislature.  Keep posted for more details!

New Budget a Failure for New Yorkers but a Victory for the Lawyers

(ALBANY)  The budget agreement announced between Governor Cuomo and the leadership of the New York State Senate and Assembly does a disservice to all New Yorkers by ignoring one of the key elements of Governor Cuomo’s Medicaid Redesign task – the establishment of a cap on non-economic damages in medical liability cases.

“This budget hands a huge victory to New York’s personal injury lawyers while the rest of us will lose,” said Francesca Sommer, executive director of the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York State (LRANY).  “Health care costs will continue to rise, doctors will continue to flee the State and the message has been sent that many of our politicians still remain in the clutches of the lawyers’ special interests.”

Governor Cuomo should be applauded for taking the initiative and having the courage to initially propose these historic reforms.  LRANY members and all New Yorkers take some solace in knowing that New York’s chief executive recognizes the need for lawsuit reform in our state.

“We will continue to work to educate New Yorkers and their elected officials about the opportunity that was missed here.  We have a budget deal that puts the health care and livelihood of millions of New Yorkers at risk … but not the lawyers,” said Sommer.