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New York Poised To Pass Grieving Families Act With Bipartisan Support

New York Poised To Pass Overhaul To The State’s Nearly 200-Year-Old Wrongful Death Statute As The Bill Heads To Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Desk

New York Poised To Pass Grieving Families Act With Bipartisan Support

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (June 10, 2024) –  The New York Assembly has passed wrongful death legislation with bipartisan support, and the bill is ready to be signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

New York Senate Bill S.8485/A.9232B, also known as the Grieving Families Act, is the first major update to the state’s wrongful death law. Proponents of the bill argue that it brings much-needed change that will protect New Yorkers and their families.

According to NYSTLA President David Scher, “Our state’s nearly 200-year-old wrongful death law fails to protect New Yorkers and new families who are suffering from the epidemic of maternal mortality in our state, and in our nation where we rank last among our peers.”

The Grieving Families Act passed the assembly with a vote of 125-21. This comes after the bill was vetoed twice by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Problems With The Original Wrongful Death Statute

The current wrongful death statute in New York unfairly leaves out groups of people in terms of who can pursue civil claims. It also fails to recognize the important contributions of people who may not have traditional jobs, but nonetheless play important roles within families.

  • The current law does not compensate for the extraordinary emotional distress that people feel when they have lost someone close to them.
  • The current law does not justly compensate families for the loss of someone who was unemployed when they died.
  • The current law does not justly compensate for the extraordinary work of stay-at-home parents who do not earn an income.
  • The current law does not justly compensate for the deaths of children and other people who were not providing financial assistance when they died.

If the proposed legislation were to pass, it would have a large impact on potential damages in wrongful death cases. This can go a long way toward helping make families whole after they’ve lost someone. The passage of the law would mean that New York joins the 49 other states that allow plaintiffs to recover for emotional distress.

Getting Legal Help After A Wrongful Death

We at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. were encouraged to hear that the Grieving Families Act is close to being passed. This law is long overdue. The current law fails to protect New Yorkers in their time of greatest need.

Do you need help after losing someone in an accident? Our team of wrongful death lawyers is here to help you. We are committed to getting victims the support and justice that they are entitled to under the law. Whether you just have legal questions or are thinking about hiring an attorney, we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (516) 908-9792.


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Jeff Korek

Jeff S. Korek

Senior Trial Partner​

Jeff S. Korek joined Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. in 1992 as the Senior Trial partner. Known for his meticulous preparation and dedication to his clients, Jeff has obtained some of the state’s highest verdicts and settlements.