Get the Word Out
Senate Bill S74A
Needs to Be Vetoed

We’re running out of time. We need Governor Kathy Hochul to veto Senate Bill S74A, the Grieving Families Act, which was passed by the New York Senate Assembly on June 2, 2022.

If signed into law, it will expand recovery rights of a decedent’s surviving “close family” in a wrongful death case and significantly increase monetary sums awarded. While well intentioned, this bill lacks clarity on many critical factors and has the potential to adversely affect the availability and affordability of medical professional liability insurance and prompt even more doctors, nurses and health care professionals to leave our state.

What’s Needed: More Time

The bill can go to Governor Hochul at any time, giving her 10 days to sign into law or veto.

  • More than 30 hospitals already receive extraordinary financial assistance from the state to sustain patient care services, and if this bill is signed in its current form, we risk hospital, emergency room, primary care and urgent care closures.
  • These consequences will most severely impact safety net care providers in underserved communities, placing those with below average access to quality care at risk and compromising the social equity the bill’s proponents seek to achieve.
  • Without this important pause, the bill will reverse the state’s current investments in its health care workforce, threaten retention and growth in this sector of our economy and harm New Yorkers across the state by jeopardizing access to vital health care services.

What’s Needed: More Clarification

  • The language in S74A is far too vague about who’s eligible to recover damages in wrongful death claims and the types of losses and damages for which plaintiffs may receive compensation.
  • It also lacks important payout caps adopted by many of the nearly 40 other states with these types of laws.

What’s Needed: A Veto

A veto from Governor Hochul offers the legislature the opportunity to clarify ambiguous
elements in S74A and bring New York into alignment with other states that have applied
necessary and reasonable restrictions to similar legislation.

Key Talking Points: S74A in its current form will

  • exacerbate an already significant employment crisis;
  • significantly increase financial strain on hospitals and medical practices, which continue to deal with considerable pandemic-related struggles;
  • place untenable financial burden on individual physicians and other providers—the very same health care heroes who have endured so much throughout the pandemic; and
  • lead to hospital, emergency room, primary care and urgent care closures.

Critical Facts:

  • New York is already by far the costliest state in the nation for medical liability, with medical malpractice payouts of $661,703,250 in 2019.
    Source: Diederich Healthcare’s “2020 Medical Malpractice Payout Analysis.”
  • The second highest state, Pennsylvania, had a payout total that was over $260 million LESS than New York.
  • New York’s payouts exceeded

I encourage you to visit the MSSNY Grassroots Action Center and to call the Governor’s office at 518-474-8390 or use the contact form
on the website to encourage a veto.