For Immediate Release
June 6, 2023 


New York Physicians Deeply Concerned that State Legislature Passes Another Bill to Expand Damages in Wrongful Death Cases


Statement Attributable to:
Paul A. Pipia, MD,
President, Medical Society of the State of New York 

“New York Physicians are deeply troubled that the State Legislature just passed another bill (A.6698/S.6636) to greatly expand damages in wrongful death cases without addressing the concerns raised by the Governor when she vetoed a substantially similar bill earlier this year. The Governor’s veto message noted serious concerns regarding the bill’s impact on our already distressed health care system, the fiscal impact to the State and the huge new costs to be imposed on every New Yorker.

“With New York already facing far and away the steepest liability costs in the country, this bill will exacerbate this already pervasive problem by imposing hundreds of millions of dollars in new costs on our healthcare system at a time when it can least absorb it. Studies have shown that permitting the awarding of non-economic damages in wrongful death lawsuits, as this bill would do, will increase medical liability costs for hospitals and physicians by almost 40%. These extraordinary new costs will cause significant damage to our already distressed healthcare safety net system, particularly those delivering patient care in underserved areas, by making it much harder to make needed equipment investments—as well as exacerbating existing challenges to retaining and attracting needed health care staff including skilled physicians. These challenges will result in patient access to care delays becoming even worse.

“In addition, this bill will impose significant added costs on consumers, including health, auto and property insurance ratepayers who will see premiums rise – in some cases by double digits to pay for the additional litigation costs. Further, this bill will burden state and local governments with greatly increased costs from additional lawsuits, which will inevitably be passed onto New Yorkers by way of higher property taxes and other costs.

“We urge Governor Hochul to veto this legislation again and call for the creation of a workgroup that can develop balanced legislation that will expand the rights of grieving families without devastating our healthcare system in the process.

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Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York is the state’s principal non-profit professional organization for physicians, residents, and medical students of all specialties. Its mission is to represent the interests of patients and physicians to assure quality healthcare services for all. 

Media Contact:
Roseann Raia | Manager, Communications
Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Avenue
Westbury, NY 11590
516.488.6100 x302 | [email protected]

Julie Vecchione
Vice President, Communications
Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Avenue
Westbury, NY 11590
516.488.6100 x340 | [email protected]

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