Important advances in New York law for consumers and patients were achieved in the State budget agreement. Additionally, several proposals that would have been harmful to the rights of New York were removed.
Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. Founding Partner, Edward Gersowitz, is leading the charge on important changes regarding insurance requirements for Rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber, workers compensation laws and other pressing legal matters on behalf of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association (NYSTLA). As president, Gersowitz will help NYSTLA maintain its vigilance and actively work to educate legislators on the importance of protecting and strengthening the civil justice system.
Below are the details of the accomplishments.
Rideshare – Uber, Lyft, and Other Companies
NYSTLA advocated for victims injured in accidents involving rideshares in the State of New York. These efforts resulted in requiring rideshare companies to provide:
- $75,000/150,000 in primary insurance coverage for the period when the driver is logged onto the rideshare application looking for customers. This amount is higher than any other state’s primary insurance requirement.
- $1.25 million in primary insurance coverage for the “pre-arranged ride” period when the car is traveling to pick up a customer or providing the ride.
- $1.25 million in Supplemental Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage.
Another important milestone for Gersowitz and his NYSTLA team was to enact the requirement that the electronic receipt provided after a ride include the name and operating license number of the TNC.
Another important proposal that was rejected was the lowering of post-judgment interest rates against the State, municipal corporations, and public corporations. If this proposal had passed, it would have given such defendants a significant incentive to drag out and delay resolution of cases and payment of already-awarded judgments.
Proposals were also introduced to change the state’s Workers’ Compensation law. However, several of the harmful proposals were rejected. These rejected proposals included:
- Provisions eliminating the requirement to make deposits into the Aggregate Trust Fund
- Altering the calculation of average weekly wage in a way to harm the workers
- Allowing the Workers’ Compensation Board to take a hearing or proceeding away from a particular referee at any time
Existing medical guidelines for determining degrees of schedule loss of use will be revised. However, the Board is required to consult with stakeholders before taking any action.
Gersowitz and other NYSTLA advocates were also successful in prohibiting the proposal to allow the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services to establish regulations granting immunity for entities exchanging information with its cyber-security program. If this proposal had passed, it would have allowed any “entity” to share any information with anyone in the agency, for any purpose.
Service of Process
Advocates were also able to prevent a proposal to pass that would make service of process upon a corporation more difficult. The rejected proposal’s goal was to shift responsibility from the Department of State to plaintiffs for mailing a copy of service of process. In other words, the proposal would have required plaintiffs to serve process papers on the Secretary and the defendant entity simultaneously.
Medical Malpractice Excess Fund
Another victory came in the form of extending the Medical Malpractice Excess Fund for another year. Along the same lines, the proposal to deny eligibility to doctors who have not received tax clearances was rejected. This proposal was dangerous because it would have left injured patients without a proper legal remedy.
Centralization and Consolidation of Agency Hearing Functions
Advocates were also successful in rejecting the proposal to centralize the hearing functions of all State agencies under a new Chief Administrative Officer with power to abolish or consolidate nearly any hearing function of any agency. This was a dangerous proposal because it could have led to inefficiencies and gaps in hearing officer expertise.
Civil Justice Lobby Day 2017
Although these were great victories, the Legislative Session is far from over. Gersowitz will continue to lead the charge for NYSTLA to educate legislators on the importance of protecting and strengthening the civil justice system.
Gersowitz will be speaking on these matters at Civil Justice Lobby Day held on May 15th and May 16th at the Hilton Albany. He will join NYSTLA members in fighting for injured clients and the rights of all New Yorkers and helping bring NYSTLA’s messages to Albany.
Contact Gersowitz Libo & Korek P.C.
When you are injured as the result of the wrongful acts of another, you need to hire an experienced New York personal injury attorney to protect your legal rights. The attorneys at Gersowitz Libo & Korek P.C. have more than 30 years of experience handling complex personal injury matters.
For comment or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our accident attorneys, please call 1-800-529-9997.