Great Articles!

We’re thrilled that even more people are paying attention to our efforts to reform New York’s antiquated lawsuit system.  Click here to see an “advertorial” which recently ran in The Capitol magazine and click here to see a column which ran in the Albany Times Union.

There’s more big news coming about our organization.  Stay tuned!

NY Post Editorial: “It will be a wonder if New Yorkers manage to keep any of their money away from the trial lawyers.”

Today’s New York Post editorial.  We couldn’t agree more.

Yes. It Really Is This Bad.

Those of us who work in and around the State Capital are often asked if the media reports and our whining are really exagerations.  As today’s (June 18, 2010) New York Post’s editorial points out, it really is that bad.  In a State without a budget and without a plan to pay its bills in the future, New York’s leaders are looking for a way to give more money to the personal injury trial lawyers.

Click here to see the article.

Lawsuit Reform STILL Not on the Table

Here’s an article from Crain’s New York Business which points to the fact that Governor’s proposals to fix the medical malpractice program still don’t include tort reform.

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.

NY Times Questions AG Donations

Today’s New York Times reports on the troubling trend of donations to AG candidate Kathleen Rice from individuals and organizations connected to Weitz & Luxenberg — known here in the Capitol as “Speaker Silver’s law firm.”

Note, also, the quote from NYLR: 

Jon Pierce, a spokesman for New Yorkers for Lawsuit Reform, an advocacy group supported by business leaders and doctors’ groups, criticized Weitz & Luxenberg’s donations to the Rice campaign. “This is another example of the trial lawyers in New York State trying to increase their already significant influence in Albany,” Mr. Pierce said.

NYLR Seeks Applicants for Executive Director Position

Company: 

New Yorkers for Lawsuit Reform

Location: 

Albany, NY

Position: Executive Director, New Yorkers for Lawsuit Reform, a broad-based coalition that seeks to implement comprehensive tort reform in the State of New York (www.nylawsuitreform.org/ ).

Duties: 

  • Define the agenda and gain buy-in from stakeholders for comprehensive tort reform. 
  • Present multi-year strategic plans to meet stated objectives and goals. 
  • Chief spokesperson for coalition on issues;
  • Advocate before all branches of government;
  • Effective interaction and regular presence at NY State Capitol;
  • Maintain strong relationships with national tort reform groups; 
  • Raise funds to support tort reform efforts in New York;
  • Manage staff and as well external resources;
  • Administer annual budget;
  • Foster membership growth through a mix of public relations and grassroots activities, including the recruitment of local champions for tort reform. 

Qualifications: 

  • Management, administrative and budget experience;
  • Highly skilled in government relations/legislative advocacy and issues management;
  • Highly organized, creative, resourceful, able to set priorities, develop consensus among diverse group of members;
  • Skilled in media outreach, legislative testimony, written and oral communications;
  • Strong track record of running a member organization preferred;
  • Fundraising experience would also be a plus. 

Compensation:  Competitive salary and benefits commensurate with experience.  Applicants may send confidential inquiry and resume to jobs@nylawsuitreform.org  All inquiries will be kept confidential.  NYLR is an equal opportunity employer.

NYLR Opposes Proposal to Impose Interest Costs Upon Defendents

NYLR has issued a memo in opposition to S.7035 (Schneiderman)/A.2874 (Weinstein).  The bill would for the first time impose interest costs of 9% upon defendants for post settlement delay due solely to conduct beyond the control of the defendant.  The bill would add additional costs to a tort system which is rated as one of the worst in the United States.  The State, its municipalities, not-for-profits, health providers and businesses simply cannot afford to add costs to a system which in comparison to our sister states is already broken.

Click here to see and download NYLR’s full memorandum in opposition.