Recently I joined forces with fellow members of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association at the Capitol in Albany, New York.
We met with New York State legislators to argue against harmful changes to construction safety laws, and also, to support proposed laws that seek to increase the legal rights of all New Yorkers.
Here are the highlights:
- New York’s Scaffold Law protects construction workers who are exposed to the risk of falls from heights. The insurance and building industries claim that costs imposed by this law raise insurance premiums and discourage new construction. We argued that the insurance companies should open their books to prove their assertions, and that the Scaffold Law’s safety requirements should not be weakened. A recent New York Times article, “Fatal Construction Accidents Are Rising in New York,” documents that even with current construction safety rules, the number of accidents and fatalities (eight this year) in New York City are rising. Despite these facts, the industry claims that the law is too stringent.
- We urged the passage of a patient safety law. New York is one of the few states without a “date of discovery law.” In New York a medical malpractice victim has only 2 ½ years, from the date the malpractice occurs, to start a lawsuit. This rule applies even where it was impossible for the patient to discover the medical malpractice, within that time frame. For example, many women in New York don’t learn they have breast cancer, until more than 2 ½ years after their initial examination or mammogram. Under the current law, when these women first learn of the delayed or misdiagnosis, it is too late for them to bring a legal claim. We asked legislators to adopt a law that brings New York up to speed with the 44 other states, where the time to start a malpractice claim begins when the patient first learns that medical negligence caused their injury.
- We also advocated on behalf of grieving families for a law to allow them to recover for their emotional loss. The current law does not allow families to make any claim for their emotional suffering when a loved one is killed due to someone else’s carelessness. A wrongful death claim is based strictly on the amount of money the deceased relative would have contributed to the household, had they lived. A wrongful death claim based on the negligent death of an infant child would have absolutely no value, because the family suffers no lost income.
This is why we went to Albany– to advocate for laws that protect the legal rights of people who live and work in the state of New York.
Who would defend your rights, if you were injured in a construction accident or harmed by medical malpractice? Please call us today if you have any questions or would like updates on these laws.
Katter Law Firm
Alt Phone: 212-809-4293