What's New

Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

January 25, 2008

Council joins efforts to reform New York's liability laws

The Business Council is supporting efforts by a state-wide group to renew efforts to reform the state's legal system, in an attempt to reduce the number of unnecessary lawsuits and associated costs.

New Yorkers for Civil Justice Reform, a coalition of professional and business organizations across the state, began its renewed efforts by asking Governor Eliot Spitzer and the state's legislative leaders to make tort reform a priority in 2008.

“Studies have shown that New York's current liability laws contribute to high taxes and everyday-living expenses for all New Yorkers,” said Walter Pacholczak, the Council's legislative analyst handling liability reform. “This is an issue that all New York businesses should be concerned about.”

“The prolonged stalemate over reining in New York's 'tort tax' has contributed to the enormously high property tax burden for homeowners and businesses in New York, has reduced access to health care in many portions of New York State, and has driven up costs for home builders and other contractors, municipalities and consumers,” the coalition wrote in separate letters to Governor Spitzer and legislative leaders. “It has hindered efforts to revitalize the upstate New York economy.”

In the December 2007 letters, the coalition stressed that New Yorkers injured by negligence are entitled to fair compensation.

“However, New York maintains several antiquated rules that go beyond assuring a person injured by negligence can be appropriately compensated and instead encourages the filing of meritless claims,” the coalition wrote.