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Lobbying for Your Laws on Lobby Day

The Perecman Firm attorneys Steven Dorfman and Zachary Perecman traveled up to Albany last month to participate in Civil Justice Lobby Day, joining other members of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association (NYSTLA) in lobbying for legislation to benefit consumers and protect injured New Yorkers and their families.

This year’s agenda included the topic of Auto Fairness. The lawyers advocated for The New York Driver and Family Protection Act, a bill that would require a driver’s Supplementary Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists (SUM) Insurance limit to match the limit of their automobile insurance, unless they choose to decline the additional SUM insurance. SUM Insurance provides essential coverage to New Yorkers injured in a motor vehicle accident when the other responsible vehicle is uninsured or underinsured. If injuries to a driver or passenger are over the value of the responsible party’s insurance coverage, the driver can make up the difference up to its limits of their own SUM coverage. 25 states have a similar law. As of today, this bill has passed the both New York State Senate and Assembly and awaits action by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

NYSTLA and our attorneys at The Perecman Firm continued to support the Grieving Families Law this year. New York is one of the few remaining states in the USA that do not allow families to recover compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit for the emotional harm (grief) suffered as a result of the loss of a loved one. At present, grieving families in New York can only recover for pecuniary (financial) damages from the death of a family member who was the victim of negligence or other wrongdoing, thus valuing the lives of high wage earners over children, homemakers, and senior citizens, and giving no value to the emotional suffering of those left behind.

Additionally, Lobby Day had panels discussing Lavern’s Law, which seeks to create an exception to the medical malpractice statute of limitations, commonly referred to around the United States as a Date of Discovery rule. Our attorneys lobbied for the passage of the law, which, in its proposed state at Lobby Day, began the running of the two and a half year statute of limitations from to the date the medical malpractice was or reasonably should have been discovered, rather than when it occurred. This would give legal avenues to victims of misread tests or botched surgical procedures.

After many years of effort pushing for Lavern’s Law, we are happy to celebrate a win. In late June, a pared down version of the Lavern’s Law passed the State Assembly and State Senate and now awaits action from Governor Cuomo. While the law, if signed, would be restricted to victims of misdiagnosed cancer or malignant tumors, it is a step in the right direction towards greater protections for New Yorkers.

Be it up in Albany or at our offices in Manhattan or Jericho, the attorneys and staff at The Perecman Firm fight tirelessly to safeguard the rights of injured New Yorkers. More than attorneys, we are also advocates, and we are always here to help you.

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