Grieving Families Act Reintroduced in Senate

Grieving Families Act Reintroduced in Senate

Listen to the interview with New York State Trial Lawyers Association President, David Scher, here:

New York State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal, Chair of the NYS Senate Judiciary Committee, reintroduced the Grieving Families Act (2024-S8485) on Monday, landmark legislation that reforms and modernizes New York’s antiquated wrongful death statute.

The legislature passed the bill with overwhelming bipartisan support in both houses the past two sessions.

Assemblymember Helene Weinstein, Chair of the NYS Assembly Ways and Means Committee, has sponsored the legislation in its prior iterations and plans to carry the bill forward in the Assembly again in the 2023-2024 term.

Governor Kathy Hochul vetoed the Grieving Families Act in December for the second time, delivering a blow to bereaved families across the state.

“The current outdated law cruelly equates the value of a human life with the size of a paycheck,” said NYSTLA President David Scher. “NYSTLA is proud to continue in the fight to bring equity and justice to New Yorkers by making the Grieving Families Act law.”

“Watered-down justice is no justice at all,” said Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal. “The Legislature is more determined than ever before to get this bill across the finish line – and we will prevail. The Grieving Families Act will deliver justice to women, people of color, children, and seniors – all of whom are excluded under the 1847 law. We are hopeful that Governor Hochul will join us in bringing equity and at long last fair treatment to bereaved families across the state this session.”

“The Governor wants us to give up and go away, but we’re not going anywhere until we get justice for our loved ones,” said Jose Perez, partner of the late Christine Fields. “The Grieving Families Act makes New Yorkers safer and should be law already. This reform honors the love of my life, Christine Fields, and every other victim of maternal mortality that the current law treats with disrespect.”

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