Medical groups continue to oppose rising unlawful deaths

Amendments to New York’s proposed expansion of wrongful death laws have done little to persuade opponents of the bill.

State legislatures this month reintroduced the measure, which is intended to make it easier to claim losses if a loved one dies. If enacted, mental distress would also be covered by the wrongful death clause, allowing a wider range of people to sue in wrongful death cases.

Governor Kathy Hochul vetoed the bill amid opposition from medical groups, business groups and local government officials who feared the move would lead to higher premiums and numerous lawsuits.

An updated version of the bill drafted this month was intended to address some of the concerns Ho-chol raised in veto messages issued earlier this year. The new bill shortens the statute of limitations and includes changes to the definition of who can file a wrongful death claim.

Supporters include the families of those killed in a racially motivated attack at a Buffalo supermarket last year.

But this week, the New York State Medical Association became the latest group to voice continued opposition, given the potential impact on broader insurance costs and health care.

“These costs have severely damaged our medical safety net, imposed staggering new costs on our hospitals, pushed doctors out of state, and pushed doctors out of the state, especially in underserved areas. It will exacerbate the already difficult patient access problems we face,” the group said. “Studies show that granting non-economic damages awards in wrongful death lawsuits, as this bill does, would reduce medical liability costs for hospitals and doctors who already face exorbitant medical liability costs. have been shown to increase by about 40%.” This is well above any other state in the country. ”

The Medical Association, along with various medical groups, has sent letters of opposition to lawmakers, and the new bill does little to address their problems.

“We have great sympathy for the grieving families that this bill seeks to help, but the current bill is completely one-sided,” the group said. To protect patients, bills to escalate costly lawsuits must be comprehensive and balanced, and help prevent the enormous negative impact this bill would have on the health care system. must be. ”

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