State Legislature looks to change Grieving Families Act laws for first time since 1847

The bill was passed seven weeks ago and is now awaiting Gov. Kathy Hochul’s signature.

News 12 Staff

Jul 26, 2023, 2:14 AM

Updated 364 days ago

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New York state residents can only sue for financial losses in the death of a loved one, not the emotional toll suffered. Now, some members of the New York state Legislature are looking to change that. 
The Grieving Families Act has remained the same since 1847. For Bruce McIntyre and his partner, Amber Isaac, giving birth to their son, Elias, came with a terrible result, as Amber Isaac lost her life during an emergency caesarean section.  
Amber Isaac had HELP syndrome, a heightened elevation of the blood and liver enzymes. McIntyre says that people rarely die from HELP syndrome unless it is neglected for a long time, which he and his lawyer claim it was.  
State Sen. Brad Hoylman sponsored the revision to the Grieving Families Act, which was vetoed earlier this year by Gov. Kathy Hochul. The bill was revised and has passed both chambers in Albany once again, with adjustments to the time limit to bring a case forward and the potential increases to insurance premiums.  
Hoylman says that this adjustment to the Grieving Families Act goes much further than money, saying that change is possible just by letting families claim non-economic damages in the event of a lost guardian or companion.  
The bill was passed seven weeks ago, and is now awaiting Hochul’s signature.  
News 12 has reached out to the governor’s office for comment and is awaiting a response.  


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