LRANY Video Series: Ridiculous Lawsuit of the Month Overview

This week, to continue the LRANY video series, we bring to you an overview video of a new portion of the series, the ridiculous lawsuit of the month. Each month, LRANY’s Phoebe Stonbely will share with you the most ridiculous lawsuit that we come across for your enjoyment, amusement and education.  Frivolous lawsuits are a major problem in New York state and they are costing YOU.  A recent study found that New York’s municipalities pay well over $1 billion a year for litigation costs, that’s taxpayer money, that’s your money.


LRANY Video Series: New York’s Medical Liability Crisis

This week, to continue the LRANY video series, we bring to you a video on the medical liability crisis our state is currently facing.

Last year alone New Yorkers paid $127 million to subsidize medical-malpractice insurance.  Even with this subsidy, doctors across the state still pay astronomically high amounts for insurance, some as high as $200,000 annually; the highest in the nation by an astounding margin.  With doctors in New York being among the most highly skilled and safest in the nation, the high cost is not indicative of the performance of our medical professionals but is a direct reflection of our broken legal system.

Our current system allows for a continuous flow lawsuit abuse often offering mind boggling damages for “pain-and-suffering”.  These high costs are forcing facilities out of business and pushing our doctors out of New York to other states where measures have been put in place to help alleviate these cost.  Since Since 2000, 19 hospitals throughout the NYC alone have been forced to close their doors, impacting many New Yorkers’ access to health care.

Our state needs to pass true reforms to decrease the cost of medical liability insurance, increase the access to healthcare and stop closures of hospitals.


LRANY Video Series: Daubert Standard of Evidence

This week, to continue the LRANY video series, we bring to you a video on the Daubert standard of evidence. Currently in New York, we use the “Frye” standard of evidence, which requires only one criterion be satisfied: is the theory “generally accepted?”.  This standard is inadequate at ensuring actions are founded on sound, reliable theories.

We must bring our state to the present and align with more that 30 other states in the nation who have changed these standards to reflect improvements in scientific knowledge and methods.  The application of the “Daubert” standard will ensure that juries are presented with evidence that is relevant, reliable, and supported by scientific methodology.  This adjustment will prevent forum shopping; i.e. will discourage cases of questionable merit from being brought in New York because of weaker expert opinion evidence standards. In addition to helping  prevent overburdening New York state courts with cases based on “junk science.”


LRANY Video Series: Interest on Judgments

This week, to continue the LRANY video series, we bring to you a video interest on judgments.  Currently, defendants must pay interest on judgments at a fixed rate of 9%, which is significantly higher than the market rate. This rate forces defendants to settle meritless lawsuits rather than risk paying the exorbitant interest rate. The current practice inflates the value of judgments beyond the real value intended by the jury, and drives up costs to local governments and taxpayers.

LRANY supports commonsense legislation (S.3114 (Griffo))which ties the rate of interest on judgments to the prevailing market interest rate.  This legislation would improve fairness in litigation, ensure a defendants’ right to due process and reduce costs to taxpayers.


LRANY Video Series: Expert Witness Disclosure

This week, to continue the LRANY video series, we bring to you a video on expert witness disclosure.  The current law in New York regarding expert disclosure requires litigants to disclose their respective experts prior to trial, but offers no definitive time frame in which the disclosure must be exchanged.   Most courts throughout the state require allow this disclosure take place as late as thirty days prior to trial, making it difficult to assess the merit of a case ahead of time and leading to the widespread practice of “trial by ambush.”

LRANY supports legislation (S.4383 (Golden)/A.5221 (Galef) Disclosure of expert witnesses) which would require the party with the burden of proof to disclose its experts when they file the lawsuit. The opposing party would subsequently be required to disclose its experts within sixty days.  The proposed bill would end “trial by ambush”, reduce non-meritorious litigation , and reduce court cost.   Implementation of this measure would correct a glaring inequality in the current system, discourage frivolous lawsuits, and promote expeditious settlements.


LRANY Video Series: The ‘Scaffold Law’

This week, to continue the LRANY video series, we bring to you a video on the New-York-only ‘Scaffold Law’.  This antiquated law currently holds contractors and property owners 100 percent liable for elevation related construction injuries, regardless of the workers’ negligence.

It is past time that our legislature make reasonable reforms to this clearly unbalanced law; S.111 (Gallivan)/A.3104 (Morelle) would create comparative negligence standard, in which a worker’s own negligence, intoxication, or refusal to use safety equipment may be admitted as evidence in court. This would stimulate job creation, improve workplace safety, and reduce the burden on the state and its taxpayers.

Click here for more information on the ‘Scaffold Law’.

Introducing: LRANY Video Series

The Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York is pleased to announce the launch of a new video series aimed at educating New Yorkers about the problem of lawsuit abuse, and more importantly, the solutions that LRANY is working towards every day.

The idea for this series came from a brainstorming session with grassroots members in Western New York — people just like you.  If you have any ideas for improving LRANY’s outreach, or if you are interested in participating in your own local brainstorming session, please email

We hope you enjoy this introductory video and all the videos we will be posting in the future.