New York State lawmakers try for a second time to expand wrongful death law
ALBANY, NY (Erie News Now)--This year New York State lawmakers passed legislation to expand the wrongful death law, a bill passed last year and vetoed by Gov. Kathy Hochul.
Wrongful death suits allow survivors to collect damages for the death of a family member caused by an individual or institution through negligence or recklessness.
The current law covers wrongful death claims of financial loss. New York State lawmakers want to make it easier through this legislation for New Yorkers to make claims of emotional suffering.
“Our wrongful death statute does not take into consideration emotional anguish, the suffering of the family, the loss of guardianship, consortium, companionship, love,” said Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal (D- 47th Senate District).
Hoylman-Sigal said the current policy, established in 1847, is outdated creating even more challenges for individuals trying to make wrongful death claims. He said minority groups are often discriminated against.
“Their lives are not fully valued by law according to our wrongful death statute in these cases,” said Hoylman-Sigal.
The Governor's veto message for the 2022 version of the legislation stated concerns of the bill's economic impacts.
Sen. Hoylman-Sigal said this year's version of the law addresses Hochul's concerns and he is hopeful she will sign it this time around.