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ADA Lawsuit Abuse Event a Success!

ada collageThis week, LRANY co-hosted an event with the New York State Restaurant Association in New York City focusing on ADA Lawsuit Abuse. There is growing issue of serial litigants taking advantage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to force small businesses into a settlement. Often New York small businesses are sued by plaintiffs alleging their business is not ADA compliant, some plaintiffs have even sued 8 or 9 businesses in a single day. The goal of the ADA is to provide access to people with disabilities, not to profit trial lawyers.

Our event produced an industry expert panel, consisting of defense attorney – Joesph Lynett of Jackson Lewis, ADA building designer & consultant – John Salmen of Universal Designers & Consultants, Inc., and restaurant owner and ADA lawsuit victim – Jeremy Wladis of The Restaurant Group. The event brought together dozens of business owners and interested parties who received important and educational information on what the state of this issue is and how ti mitigate risk for their business.

We would like to thank our sponsors, panelist, and partners for making this successful event possible!

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Court: Scaffold Law Applies to 1ft Fall

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*FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*
April 14, 2016
Contact: Phoebe Stonbely
pstonbely@lrany.org
518.512.5265

Court: Scaffold Law Applies to 1ft Fall

Reformers say ‘new low’ highlights need for reform

(ALBANY, NY) – Advocates for reform of New York’s controversial ‘Scaffold Law’ are calling a recent decision applying the law to a 1ft ‘fall’ an example of how expansive and onerous the law has become. The decision, entered at the end of March in Manhattan Supreme Court by Judge Anil Singh, granted judgement in favor of the plaintiff for a fall from just “12-18 inches” – a height at which experts say no scaffold or safety device could have protected the worker from falling. “This ruling shows that essentially nothing can be done to avoid a claim under this ridiculous statute,” said Tom Stebbins, Executive Director of the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York, “it also shows that the law is not about safety, but about liability and lawsuits that protects nothing other than trial lawyer’s profits.”

The Scaffold Law Reform Coalition – which has members from around the state including Habitat for Humanity, the New York State Association for Affordable Housing, the New York Conference of Mayors, and the Buffalo-Niagara Partnership – has strongly advocated for reform of the law for years. The Scaffold Law holds property owners and contractors absolutely liable in a lawsuit for elevation related construction injuries, regardless of the fault of the worker. The group, who claims the current law is draining our state financially, seeks to add comparative negligence to the statute so negligence is attributed proportional to fault. According to researchers at the Rockefeller Institute of Government the law costs taxpayers $785 million per year.

A copy of the court decision can be found here.

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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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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: New York Plaintiffs’ Lawyer Lobby Spending Continues to Increase Despite Corruption Exposure

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 11, 2016
Contact: Phoebe Stonbely
pstonbely@lrany.org
518.512.5265

New York Plaintiffs’ Lawyer Lobby Spending Continues to Increase Despite Corruption Exposure

For the sixth consecutive year, plaintiffs’ lawyer lobbying spend surged, a 64% increase since 2010

POA-Report-2016-Web-Layout_HI-RESOLUTION-_PS-(002)-001(Albany, NY) – Today, the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York (LRANY), a nonpartisan, nonprofit association focused on statewide civil justice reform, released their annual “Power of Attorney” report, which analyzes the lobbying spending and political contributions of New York’s plaintiffs’ lawyer lobby. The report found that in 2015, plaintiffs’ lawyers, their lobbying groups, and associated Political Action Committees (PACs) spent a combined $2.64 million to influence state elected officials.

The report identified over $450,000 in campaign contributions from PACs of the state’s two plaintiffs’ lawyer special interest groups, the New York State Trial Lawyers Association (NYSTLA) and the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers (NYSATL). Additionally, the groups spent $1.38 million in lobbying – a 10% increase over the prior year and a 64% increase since 2010. The substantial increase surprised the reports’ authors given that 2015 was not an election year.

“This 64% increase far outpaces inflation, revealing a continued return for the trial lawyers on their investment in Albany politics,” said Tom Stebbins, Executive Director of LRANY.

Stebbins explained that this report exposes what he dubbed “a vicious cycle of corruption” within the New York State legislature, “personal injury trial lawyers continue to make money from Albany policies, and put more and more of that money back into the pockets of Albany politicians, who, in turn, maintain those trial lawyer-friendly policies.”

The report concluded that the fiduciary influence of the trial lawyer special interest is a ‘significant roadblock to common sense lawsuit reform.’

Stebbins stressed, “This report is proof of the trial lawyer lobby’s role as ‘puppet masters’ of the state legislature, pulling strings to target the key committees to keep their ‘vicious cycle of corruption’ rolling. We only hope that the continued exposure of the crooked practices in our state government will lead to the past due positive changes New Yorkers have been waiting for.”

A digital copy of the report can be found here: http://bit.ly/22ifa0I

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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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Forbes: With Silver Convicted, Some NY Dems Lend Support To Asbestos Transparency Bill

magnify asbestosForbes Business recently published a piece written by Legal Newsline reporter, Jessica Karmasek, focusing on the recent support for a piece of legislation calling for transparency in the asbestos trust system. LRANY Executive Director, Tom Stebbins, was quoted on the issue.

An excerpt:

The Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York, pointing to the kickback allegations against Silver, says the legislature is “rightfully interested” in overhauling New York’s asbestos courts.

“Asbestos was at the heart of New York’s recent corruption scandal involving former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver,” said Tom Stebbins, LRANY’s executive director. “The intricate kickback scheme uncovered by the U.S. Attorney illustrates the need for comprehensive asbestos litigation reform in New York.

“This bill, which has growing bipartisan support in both houses, would open claims up to transparency to root out fraud and misrepresentation in the system. The measure will protect both future funds for the injured and solvent businesses from becoming the next target of this dangerous double dipping strategy.”

Read the full article

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The Syracuse Post Standard: Legal Reforms Can Make NY a Friendlier Place for Doctors

adamToday, The Syracuse Post Standard published commentary from LRANY’s Government Affairs Specialist, Adam Morey. The piece titled ‘Legal Reforms Can Make NY a Friendlier Place for Doctors‘ focused on a recent article covering a report naming New York as the second worst in the nation for doctors. In this editorial, Adam explains what drivers are pushing doctors out of our state.

An excerpt:

“It is no shock that New York is ranked so close to the bottom of the list of states for doctors to work (“NY second worst place in nation for doctors, study says,”March 29). Nearly 20 percent of all the medical liability payouts in the U.S. are paid in New York, an amount totaling more than the medical liability payouts for the whole Midwest. The fact is, the state’s high medical liability costs drive away medical professionals, reduce competition and weaken access to medical care for New Yorkers from Buffalo to Montauk.

The dominance of the trial lawyers lobby in New York state politics is largely to blame – in 2014 Gov. Andrew Cuomo told the Crain’s editorial board that “the trial lawyers are the single most powerful political force in Albany.” Not only do law firms and their associated PACs pour millions into the campaign coffers of the state’s elected officials, some legislators – like convicted former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver – are themselves personal injury trial lawyers; Silver was well known to carry the agenda of the lawyer’s lobby, blocking common-sense reform measures from ever coming to the floor.”

Read the full article

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: New York State Personal Injury Lawyers Association Announces Triumph Following Groundbreaking $50 Billion Verdict in Case of Man Suing Himself

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April 1, 2016
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ben Suinlotz
Illsueu2@Suinlotzfirm.com

New York State Personal Injury Lawyers Association Announces Triumph Following Groundbreaking $50 Billion Verdict in Case of Man Suing Himself

(Albany) – Today, the New York State Personal Injury Lawyers Association (NYSPILA) announced a victory for fairness in New York State as a Bronx jury awarded a landmark $50 billion to a New York county man in the case of Dipschitz v. Dipschitz. The verdict, issued on Wednesday night, orders Dipschitz to pay himself $30 billion in punitive damages, $10 billion for emotional distress, and $10 billion for loss of companionship.

The case was brought and defended by NYSPILA president Ben Suinlotz of Suinlotz & Winzalot law firm, who deemed the success a revolutionary ruling for widespread justice: “Today marks a new day for the integrity of our civil justice system, we as humans have the right to sue ourselves, and now our courts have finally seen the light to allow this. We hope to help many more plaintendants see due process of law. Furthermore,” Suinlotz continued, “our firm is able to double our fees by representing both sides in these cases, now that’s real justice, redistributing wealth into the pockets of the personal injury trial lawyers who deserve it most.”

Plaintiff, and defendant, Eyema Dipschitz, brought the case against himself after suffering third degree heartburn, among other debilitating ailments, from ‘inferno’ chicken wings that he had made for himself with the top four hottest peppers on the Scoville scale. Though only found to be 2% responsible, Dipschitz was still required to pay himself 100% of the judgement under the doctrine of joint-and-several liability.

NYSPILA, which represents nearly 10,000 New York personal injury attorneys, is honored to be run by the counselor who achieved this cutting-edge initiative which is predicted to deliver an influx of lawyers into New York. “Sure, we’ve got the most lawyers per capita of any state. But we can always do better. Allowing individuals to commandeer both sides of a lawsuit is an important step toward achieving that goal,” Suinlotz explained.

According to Suinlotz, success wasn’t about a number, but about changing lives, “many lawsuits have not been brought as the law was unclear on the outcome of a plaintendant suit, this ruling changes that discrepancy.” The NYSPILA president also urged readers to contact his law office if they or a loved one has suffered any injury or misfortune. “It doesn’t matter how minor – I can practically guarantee you a cash settlement!”

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The New York State Personal Injury Lawyers Association (NYSPILA) is a completely biased for-their-own-profit association of personal injury lawyers dedicated to creating an imbalance in New York’s civil justice system and increasing the opportunities to file jackpot justice lawsuits.

They also hate puppies. This entire release is complete satire.

DYK: Utah has actually allowed for this type of case to be brought in their courts: http://bit.ly/25mJLid

See PDF Release Here

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STATEMENT: LRANY Executive Director Response to $10M Dismissal of P!nk Cover Band Suit

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March 30, 2016

$10 Million “Ugly” Lawsuit Dismissed, but Highlights Need for Legislative Change

“While we are thrilled that the lawsuit against Collette McLafferty has been dismissed, it is a tragic indictment of our system that this case was not dismissed years ago. Collette has incurred tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees from a man she has never met, and her courtroom struggle continues as she now has to go to court yet again, in hopes of recovering her legal fees.

Further, we are disappointed the court denied Collette’s “abuse of process” claim. Collette’s case received international attention precisely because its abusive nature. If this case does not constitute an abuse of process, what case does? The bar of what constitutes abuse under New York law seems so high that we have to wonder if there is any bar at all.

This lawsuit so clearly illustrates the dire need for legislative action to guide our courts and prevent people like Collette from being exploited by our legal system and those who abuse it.”

-Tom Stebbins, Executive Director, Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York

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Contact: Phoebe Stonbely | PStonbely@LRANY.org | 518.512.5265  

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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STATEMENT: LRANY Applauds New York Supreme Court’s Decision to Disbar Sheldon Silver

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March 29, 2016

LRANY Applauds New York Supreme Court’s Decision to Disbar Sheldon Silver

“Today’s court decision disbarring former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is a rare and welcome victory for New York’s legal system. Silver carried the plaintiffs’ lawyers water for years as he presided over Albany’s cult of corruption. We applaud the court’s decision and hope this sets a precedent, not just for attorneys who abuse our civil justice system, but for legislators who choose to profit from it.”

-Tom Stebbins, Executive Director, Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York

Read the Court Decision Here: http://bit.ly/1pIgzBw

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Contact: Phoebe Stonbely | PStonbely@LRANY.org | 518.512.5265

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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Statement from LRANY Executive Director on NYC Construction Workers Drinking on the Job

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March 2, 2016

LRANY Executive Director on NYC Construction Workers Drinking on the Job

WABC-TV recent expose on construction workers drinking on the job further illustrates how New York’s labor laws encourage unsafe behavior. Specifically, Labor Law 240, also known as the ‘Scaffold Law,’ which has been applied by the courts to exonerate intoxicated workers of culpability for their own actions. The Scaffold Law has been shown to increase New York’s rate of injury by an estimated 677 injuries per year, and WABC-TV’s story illustrates why. Intoxicated workers are dangerous workers and New York’s laws should not let them off the hook if their drinking leads to an accident – either hurting themselves or others on site.

Governor Cuomo and New York lawmakers’ must reform the Scaffold Law to account for employee negligence, the same standard used in every other state. Doing so will save billions in insurance costs, billions in taxpayer dollars, and more importantly, reform will keep our workers and streets safer.”

-Tom Stebbins, Executive Director, Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York

Link to WABC-TV segment here.

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Contact: Phoebe Stonbely | PStonbely@LRANY.org | 518.424.5811

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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LRANY Releases 2016 Schedule of Events

The Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York is excited to announce our 2016 schedule of events.

2016 EventsLRANY will be holding multiple educational and informational events throughout the year and across the state. These events will appeal to broad audiences. Both members and non-members alike are welcome to attend pending space limitations. We hope to see you there!

The events schedule is as follows:

ADA Lawsuit Abuse, Is Your Business at Risk of Becoming the Target of a LAWSUIT? – Co-produced with the New York State Restaurant Association | NYC | April 18, 2016

Asbestos Litigation, A Changing Dynamic Offers Opportunity For Change | NYC | June 29, 2016

LRANY Annual Meeting 
Capital Region | November 2016

More information on all of these events is available at our events page here.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for all of our events.

See our 2016 Sponsorship Opportunities here:

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