Governor Vetoes Wrongful Death Bill

Tuesday, January 31, 2023 8:20 AM | Jennifer Casasanta (Administrator)

On behalf of the entire MSSNY leadership, please accept our sincere gratitude for the successful advocacy campaign that YOU carried out, leading to the outcome of the veto of the Grieving Family Act. MSSNY was actively engaged from the beginning—working together with many allies on this issue, including MLMIC. We identified a sense of urgency and created a clear plan with our strong guiding alliance. We communicated our plan with the county leadership, and YOU executed that plan spectacularly. Thousands of phone calls were made, and emails were sent.  Social media was buzzing, and so were the op-eds. This proves the power of grassroots action.

The well-intentioned but extremely detrimental legislation would have exponentially increased the size of awards in wrongful death actions—legislation that could have increased your liability insurance premiums by 40%!!

I am happy to report to you that the Governor DID NOT sign this bill into law, meaning it WILL NOT take effect.

In case you missed it, Governor Hochul authored an op-ed in today’s New York Daily Newswhere she expressed great support for the concept of updating New York’s wrongful death statute, but also noting that “the unintended consequences of this far-reaching, expansive legislation would be significant, particularly for our already struggling health care system.”

The governor’s veto does not mean that the discussion on this profound legislative topic is over. Far from it.

We anticipate that the State Legislature will soon advance this or similar legislation.  Please be alert for upcoming requests to contact your local Assemblymembers and Senators urging that any legislation to update New York’s wrongful death law be properly calibrated and balanced to help address the extraordinary costs of medical liability in New York State.

Thank you again for all your efforts in this campaign to preserve healthcare access for New Yorkers.

And a special thank you to local leadership, county executives, county presidents, hospital staff leadership, and all our partners.

Parag Mehta, MD
MSSNY President

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