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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: P!nk Cover Band Suit Finally Comes to an End

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For Immediate Release
July 28, 2016
Contact: Phoebe Stonbely
pstonbely@lrany.org
518.512.5265

P!nk Cover Band Suit Finally Comes to an End

Victim: Current Legal Climate ‘Inhumane,’ Court ‘Should Be Embarrassed’

Albany, NY – Last week, singer Collette McLafferty entered The Supreme Court of Riverhead to discuss the conduct of Charles Bonfante, the lawyer who filed an abusive $10 million lawsuit against her following just one $75 gig with a P!nk cover band he co-created. After more than two years and $15,000 fighting the suit, this day in court would be the first time Collette ever met Mr. Bonfante face-to-face.

When McLafferty was presented with the lawsuit in 2014, her life was sent into a tailspin – legally, professionally, and emotionally.

“I didn’t get out of bed for an entire month. I felt numb, depleted,” Collette explained.

Refusing to succumb to the chaos, Collette partnered with the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York, shifting from victim to advocate, to promote awareness of and put an end to lawsuit abuse. Together they collaborated on the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act, also known as “Collette’s Law,” to increase sanctions against those who file abusive lawsuits and require them to pay the other party’s legal fees.

Following these efforts, Collette hoped her story would resonate with the court, but with little confidence in their taking proper action to compensate her suffering and with an offer from Mr. Bonfante, Collette chose to settle.

“After two years in litigation and $15,000 in legal fees, I no longer had the resources to keep fighting. I settled for less than I deserved,” said McLafferty.

While Collette is happy that Bonfante is finally taking some responsibility and has agreed to cover most of her legal fees, therapy bills, and will issue a public apology, she is “thoroughly unimpressed” with The Supreme Court of Riverhead.

“There was a complete lack of acknowledgment of my pain, time, drained finances, and my emotional well-being. The current legal climate that tolerated this case is not only unacceptable, but inhumane. The Supreme Court of Riverhead, and New York State’s legal community should be embarrassed by all of this,” stressed Collette.

Tom Stebbins, Executive Director of the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York couldn’t agree more. “We see ridiculous and abusive lawsuits in our courts every day. While we may find them comical for a catchy headline, we have to remember there are real victims like Collette, victims who rarely see their tormentors punished,” explained Stebbins.

Stebbins urged, “We need to put into place a system where judges issue sanctions not just for stealing or egregious violations of law, but issue sanctions for abuse of law, and abuse of others through the law. We can’t have abusive cases clogging our courts for years, while legitimate cases sit on the sidelines. Our legal system should not be used as a tool of abuse, and our judges should come down hard on anyone who would use our courts to harass another.”

When asked about the sanctions process McLafferty lamented, “It’s a system by lawyers for lawyers.”

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The Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York (LRANY) is a nonpartisan not-for-profit association of businesses, professionals, healthcare providers, membership organizations, taxpayers, and concerned citizens committed to changing New York’s legal system to help create jobs and energize our economy.

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The Buffalo News: Enact Bill Protecting Victims From Personal Injury Lawyers

This week, The Buffalo News published a letter to the editor from LRANY’s Adam Morey. The letter focused on the need of the legislator to enact reforms to the current asbestos litigation system that allows for fraud and abuse.

An excerpt:asbestos-1522143-768x576

While our courts continue to expand liability beyond the actual manufacturers of asbestos-containing products (“Court upholds verdict of $3 million for widow,” Buffalo News, July 10), it is imperative that policies are put in place to protect the money set aside for injured plaintiffs and their families.

The truth is that litigation bankrupted most producers of asbestos long ago, and in the process courts formed multibillion-dollar trusts to pay out future liability claims.”

 

Read Full Letter

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Albany Times Union – Letter: Fix New York’s Overly Litigious Tendencies

Albany Times Union – Letter: Fix New York’s Overly Litigious Tendencies

This week, the Albany Times Union published a letter to the editor written by LRANY’s Adam Morey. The letter brings focus to New York’s high risk of litigation and trial lawyer influence as the cause of the anti-business culture.

An excerpt:Welcome-to-NY

“Howard Zemsky’s claim that New York’s anti-business stigma is “now a vestige of the past” (“Good time for business in New York,” July 12) completely misses the mark.

While the administration has aggressively pursued a number of tax incentives and economic development initiatives, the reality is that New York will never be business-friendly until it shakes its standing as the lawsuit capital of the world. According to a recent study conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, companies are more likely to get sued in New York than anywhere else in the nation.

The primary reason for this heightened risk of litigation is the outsized influence of the trial lawyer’s agenda in Albany.”

Read Full Letter

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WRGZ 2 NBC Buffalo – NY Lawmakers Reveal Outside Income

Watch LRANY’s Tom Stebbins discuss concerns with legislator’s outside income with WRGZ NBC Buffalo:

 

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Asbestos Litigation Event Exceptional, Thank You!

Thank you to all of you who attended our event, “Asbestos Litigation: A Changing Dynamic Offers Opportunity for Change,” yesterday in New York City. The event brought together knowledge and insight from some of the foremost experts on asbestos litigation issues. The speakers included defense attorneys from Robinson Bradshaw who handled the infamous Garlock Sealing Technologies case, and a panel of attorneys currently negotiating the NYCAL case management order, moderated by nationally recognized author and professor Lester Brickman.

We would also like to extend a special thank you to our sponsors, whose support made this event possible.

LRANY is looking forward to our next upcoming event, our 2016 Annual Meeting. Click here for more information

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INFOGRAPHIC: The City That Never Sleeps Is Always Sued

NYCTORT CLAIMS 2015 (4)

Source: http://comptroller.nyc.gov/wp-content/uploads/documents/Claims_Report_FY_2015.pdf

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Protected: CLE MATERIALS: Asbestos Litigation Event – June 22, 2016

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