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BCW Joins Opposition to Proposed Bill Creating New Damage Awards

The Business Council of Westchester has joined with 31 other business organizations statewide in opposition to proposed legislation that would create a new class of damages awardable in wrongful death lawsuits.

“This bill would have a disastrous impact on businesses in the state, endangering our economic recovery in these uncertain times,” read letter sent by the business groups to Governor Kathy Hochul. “This bill would radically expand the kinds of damages recoverable in wrongful death actions, driving up liability insurance premiums for public and private entities across the state,” said the business groups.

The letter cited an actuarial analysis that showed that the bill would increase medical professional liability costs by nearly 40%. Automobile liability and general liability insurance would increase by as much as $2.2 billion. The result would be a 12.6% increase in annual premium across the board for residents and businesses.

The group also noted that liability insurance premiums are already higher in New York than almost anywhere else in the country. “This legislation would make it harder to attract new companies and discourage local entrepreneurs from pursuing their goals and remaining in New York. For businesses already operating in the state, increased liability insurance costs will lead to price increases, pay cuts, and even layoffs – ultimately devastating already-struggling communities.”

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