It is incredibly difficult to lose a loved one, especially in circumstances where the death was preventable and as a result of a reckless act of another.
Under New York’s current wrongful death law, families find themselves in a position where there is no way to claim compensation for the emotional pain they suffer as a result. The passing of the Grieving Families Act is intended to rectify this.
New York’s wrongful death law
Under the current wrongful death law, the value of a person’s life is only quantifiable by how much they earned when they were alive. Those without a significant income, therefore, appear to have less worth than those who do. It also greatly disadvantages certain people living in poorer areas. The way the law currently stands is said to marginalize entire communities.
The wrongful death law also excludes extended family members from seeking damages for a loved one. It doesn’t account for blended families or unmarried couples. This antiquated law is considered unfair and out of touch with modern societal norms.
Grieving Families Act
The Grieving Families Act is an amendment to the current law and it was passed in New York’s State Senate and Assembly at the end of this year’s legislative session.
Its benefits include:
- Allowing for consideration of emotional loss when considering the damages that should be awarded
- Those able to recover damages will be extended further than just very immediate family
The amendment is currently awaiting signature by Governor Kathy Hochul. It is hoped that it will help to bring justice to families who have lost someone due to the recklessness of another. If you have been affected by the wrongful death of a loved one, you may be able to benefit from the amendments to the Wrongful Death Act.