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“New York Lawmakers Again Pass Wrongful Death Damages Bill.
Is Another Veto in Store?”

Posted: June 15, 2023

Source:  Insurance Journal

New York’s current wrongful death law does not permit recovery for pain and suffering, mental anguish, or loss of companionship for surviving family members. It restricts damages to pecuniary, or tangible, monetary damages only. Further, it limits recovery in wrongful death cases to a decedent’s immediate family members – a child, parent, spouse, or the estate’s representative.

The latest version of a bill that just cleared the NYS Assembly and Senate, the Grieving Families Act, would dramatically change this equation and is now awaiting a decision by Gov. Kathy Hochul to either sign or veto. In January 2023 Gov. Hochul vetoed the prior version of the bill after New York lawmakers rejected Hochul’s proposed amendments. The proposed legislation would expand the scope of awardable damages to include “loss of love, society, protection, comfort, companionship, and consortium resulting from the decedent’s death.”

The bill also would expand the pool of those eligible to sue for wrongful death to include spouses or domestic partners, children, foster children, step-children, step-grandchildren, parents, grandparents, step-parents, step-grandparents, siblings or anyone acting “in loco parentis” to the deceased person. While not completely retroactive, the current legislation, if enacted, would apply to any cause of action “accruing on or after July 1, 2018, regardless of when the claim was filed.”

To read the Insurance Journal article on this topic, published on June 15, 2023, click here: https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/east/2023/06/13/724948.htm