MARCH 1998Tort reform bill in Senate, Assembly
A comprehensive civil justice reform bill has been introduced in both the Senate and the Assembly - with strong support from The Business Council and New Yorkers for Civil Justice Reform.
Dale Volker, chair of the Senate Codes Committee, and Joe Morelle, chair of the Assembly Small Business Committee, are the sponsors.
The bill features many provisions designed to restore balance to New York's civil justice system, including:
- A repeal of "joint and several liability," under which a defendant can be forced to pay all of the damages awarded - even if the defendant's liability is assessed at only 1 percent.
- A cap on non-economic damages that can be awarded in tort cases.
- A "statute of repose" to limit to 10 years the period in which a manufacturer can be held liable for products.
- A measure to allow contractors and employers to defend themselves against lawsuits over worksite injuries by introducing evidence that the plaintiff's own negligence was a factor.
March 19, 1998