Families of Wrongful Death Victims in New York Gain Key Victory
Written By: Rheingold, Giuffra, Ruffo & Plotkin LLP
Our partners are proud members of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. One aspect we take particular advantage of is the chance to lobby before state legislators on important rights for clients. Attorneys in our office appear in Albany each year for "Lobby Day" where we press for preserving the rights of litigants against the insidious creep of corporate America's reach.
Sometimes, however, we accomplish social good directly in the courts when the legislature fails to act. Of note, the trial lawyers were recently successful in a Court of Appeals case which ruled that a wrongful death plaintiff may collect interest on an award from the date of the decedent's death rather than the date a court ruled on liability. The state legislature failed to make clear when interest began to accrue. This is very important because defendants will appeal a lost case, potentially stalling the payment of a jury's award for two years! Or even longer if a new trial is required. The threat of interest on a judgment is one of the few tools provided for litigants.
Thankfully, defendants will now have to think very hard when abusing judicial loopholes in order to use their favorite tactics of delay-deny-retry.