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Syracuse Post-Standard: Changing Statute of Limitations for Sex Abuse Would Harm Schools, Churches

courtyThe Syracuse Post- Standard publsihed a letter to the editor written by LRANY Executive Director, Tom Stebbins, focused on the negative implications that could come from passing a bill to open a one-year period during which plaintiffs could file lawsuits for alleged abuse that happened at any time.

An Excerpt:

“We applaud Assemblymember Markey’s commitment to helping victims of sexual abuse get justice (“Reform statute of limitations to help sex abuse victims”, Sept.21). However, her proposal to open a one-year period during which plaintiffs could file lawsuits for alleged abuse that happened at any time, raises very serious concerns.

First and foremost, statutes of limitations exist –and have existed for thousands of years – in order to ensure that all people are afforded the opportunity to defend themselves in a court of law. Memories fade, witnesses die, and records are lost. In many cases, the alleged abuser themselves is no longer alive. When California adopted a similar proposal, 336 of the over 800 claims were against deceased individuals. In these cases, the “deep pocketed” institutions which employed the alleged abuser become the target of the lawsuit.”

Read Full Letter Here

The Legislative Gazette: A Medical Liability Crisis

doctor medical lawsuitThe Legislative gazette recently posted a letter to the editor written by LRANY’s Scott W. Hobson.  The letter identifies the major issues faced by our medical liability system in New York and some simple steps we can take to fix it.

An excerpt:

“The Legislative Gazette’s recent piece on extending the statute of limitations for medical liability lawsuits only told one side of the story. Not once in the entire article did the reporter interview or quote any of the myriad of organizations who oppose extending the statute of limitations. Not once did the reporter even reference any of the many reasons that dramatically extending the statute of limitations for medical liability lawsuits would be bad policy for New York.

By every measure, New York is facing a medical liability crisis. Our state spends more on medical liability insurance, per capita, than any other state by an astronomical margin.”

Read full letter here.

 

For Immediate Release: Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York Opposes Medical Liability Statute of Limitations Expansion

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For Immediate Release
June 16, 2015
Contact: Phoebe Stonbely
pstonbely@lrany.org
518.512.5265

Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York Opposes Medical Liability Statute of Limitations Expansion
Legislation to enact a “date of discovery” law for medical malpractice cases would harm patients, not help them, group says

(Albany, NY) – The Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York (LRANY) has joined hospitals, doctors, and healthcare professionals in opposition to S.911/A.285, a bill that would expand the statute of limitations for medical lawsuits up to 10 years. Citing higher costs and decreased access to care, the group said the state’s medical system could not take another cost increase.

The proposed legislation seeks to start the statute of limitations at the point at which an alleged act of medical malpractice is discovered, rather than the point at which it actually occurred. LRANY called this extension a “death blow” to New York’s medical liability system which already accounts for 20% of all medical liability payouts in the country.

“New York’s medical liability costs are already the highest in the nation by a wide margin” said Tom Stebbins, executive director of LRANY. “This bill would make a bad situation far worse, leading to higher premiums, closed hospitals, and more doctors fleeing our state.”

Stebbins also expressed surprise that the legislature would consider a bill heavily favored by the New York State Trial Lawyers Association in light of the recent scandals that have rocked Albany. “The people of New York are watching, and they are tired of the legislature giving in to the trial lawyers’ special interests. This bill is the perfect example of a trial lawyer giveaway – massive profits for them, increased costs for the rest of us.”

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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.

See PDF Release Here

Informational Memo Here

Letter: Focus effort on preventing abuse

This week, the Times Union ran a letter to the editor written by LRANY Executive Director, Tom Stebbins.  The letter addresses the major issues with opening  a one year window in which the civil statute of limitations would be eliminated for all cases of sexual abuse, ever, against private institutions and is a follow up to a letter which he wrote last year.

An excerpt:

“To the editor:

Proponents of eliminating the civil statute of limitations for sexual abuse are right to identify the “reviver window” as the most controversial. It is also the most wrongheaded. This window of litigation would allow any claim, no matter how old, to be litigated. The practical effect of opening such a window would be a torrent of lawsuits against churches, universities and community groups, but the claims could now be so old that those organizations would not have any reasonable way to defend themselves in a court of law.”

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