New York Wrongful Death Legislation Awaits Governor’s Signature or Veto

June 21, 2022

The New York legal community is closely following the status of Bill S74A, also known as the Grieving Families Act. As discussed in our previous update, if signed into law, the Act would greatly increase the recoverable damages in wrongful death actions and, as written, would have retroactive effect on all pending lawsuits in the state.

New York, N.Y. (June 21, 2022) - The New York legal community is closely following the status of Bill S74A, also known as the Grieving Families Act. As discussed in our previous update, if signed into law, the Act would greatly increase the recoverable damages in wrongful death actions and, as written, would have retroactive effect on all pending lawsuits in the state. The bill passed the New York Senate and Assembly on June 2, 2022. However, it has not yet been delivered to Governor Hochul for a signature or veto. The bill has one Republican and three Democratic co-sponsors.

Passage of the Grieving Families Act in this session was something of a surprise as it was not expected to move forward. However, it is reportedly the number one priority of the plaintiffs bar in New York. At present, we do not expect that the governor will likely review and sign the bill until sometime this fall. In the meantime, defense-friendly interest groups may attempt to lobby for a veto or amendments. However, it is quite possible that the near unanimity in passing the bill (100% in the Senate) makes a veto unlikely.

Lewis Brisbois' New York attorneys will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as the legislation moves forward. If the bill is passed into law, we will promptly arrange a webinar to discuss it in detail. If you have questions about this or any other matters, please do not hesitate to contact the authors or editor of this alert. Visit our General Liability Practice page for additional alerts in this area.

Authors:

Nicholas P. Hurzeler, Partner

Kristen Carroll, Partner

Editor:

Gregory S. Katz, Managing Partner - New York, NY