An important update by Chris Simone on the recent veto of the Grieving Families Act
Last night, with meaningful insight, Governor Hochul vetoed the Grieving Families Act bill that would have substantially altered 175+ years of NY wrongful death jurisprudence. Although appreciating the need for families to be compensated for wrongful death beyond pecuniary loss, the Governor recognized the current bill as "an extraordinary departure" from current law likely to "result in significant unintended consequences" on many levels. These include the proposed "indefinite class of beneficiaries" derived from "close family members", the "broad * * * categories of damages", its retroactive application to "pending cases", obvious impact on "already-high insurance burdens on families and small businesses" and "strain" on "already-distressed healthcare workers and institutions." Notably, she observed that the bill "passed without a serious evaluation of the impact of these massive changes on the economy, small businesses, individuals, and the State's complex health care system."
The full text is below.
While declining to make it law, the Governor expressed her continued commitment to finding an equitable solution to the Act's ultimate goal. Indeed, in a separate Op-Ed piece in the NY Daily News earlier the same day, Governor Hochul revealed that, in considering the bill, she had suggested to the Legislature, as "a first step", limiting recovery to "parents of children who have tragically died in accidents" and "for the time being, exempting far more costly medical malpractice claims." So, we should expect more on this in the future.