NJ-ACEP News

New Jersey Physicians -- Legislative Call to Action

ACT NOW to stop Wrongful Death Expansion

  • 14 January 2008
  • Author: Mike Cooke
  • Number of views: 608
  • 0 Comments

Issue
: The New Jersey Legislature continues to threaten consideration of bills that would allow unlimited emotional damages in cases of wrongful death. These bills, S-763/A-1158, passed the Legislature in 2008 by one vote in each chamber, only to be pocket vetoed by Governor Corzine. There is a high risk that the bills are passed again during this “lame duck” session.

Act now to call your NJ State legislators and express your opposition to these bills!

Background:

New Jersey’s current Wrongful Death law provides fair and equitable compensation to families that have suffered harm due to the wrongful death of a loved one. New Jersey courts are consistently generous when interpreting the current law, providing expansive views of the pecuniary damage requirement, especially true in cases involving children.

New Jersey’s current law is working – and working well – 
to ensure justice for its citizens.

Amending the law, as proposed in S-763/A-1158, would take an already liberally-interpreted Wrongful Death Act and create one of the most extreme Acts in the country.

S-763/A-1158 allow for the recovery of unlimited emotional damages in wrongful death cases, which vastly expands the kinds of damages that can be sought and goes far beyond the purpose of wrongful death laws, which is to provide compensation for loss of economic support and other economic damages. The bill creates vaguely-defined and highly-subjective reasons for which damages can be sought with no rationale or standards as to how damages are to be determined.

If enacted, New Jersey would be one of only eight states that do not cap grief damages in wrongful death cases, placing our law well outside of the mainstream and encourage extensive new litigation that will clog New Jersey courts and hurt New Jersey employers and health care providers.

The sweeping scope and vagueness of the bill - combined with a virtual blank check on damage awards - creates opportunities for abuse, invites punitive and unfair treatment of defendants, and encourages novel legal theory to continually expand the types of injury for which compensation can be sought.

Specifically, S-763/A-1158 expands the law as follows:

“Damages may also be recovered hereunder for mental anguish, emotional pain and suffering, loss of society and loss of companionship.”

In January of 2008, the Assembly passed the wrongful death expansion by 41-32 and the Senate by 21-11. Governor Corzine vetoed the bill -- but there is no guarantee that he will do so again.

ACT NOW! Go to http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/ and go to “Find Your Legislator” on the left side. Call all three members in your district. Both the Senate and Assembly are in play on this issue – and they need to hear from you!

More information? Report responses? Contact Beverly Lynch, 609/392-7553, bev@amg101.com

Print
Categories: News
Tags:

NJ-ACEP Quick Scan

Quickscan, April 2015
Download PDF [180 KB]

Quickscan, March 2015
Download PDF [100 KB]

Quickscan, February 2015
Download PDF [163 KB]

Quickscan, December 2014
Download PDF [151 KB]

Quickscan, November 2014
Download PDF [96 KB]

Quickscan, October 2014
Download PDF [115 KB]

Quickscan, September 2014
Download PDF [126 KB]

Quickscan, July 2014
Download PDF [120 KB]

Quickscan, June 2014
Download PDF [142 KB]

Quickscan, April 2014
Download PDF [132 KB]

Quickscan, March 2014
Download PDF [108 KB]

Quickscan, February 2014
Download PDF [84 KB]

Quickscan, January 2014
Download PDF [506 KB]

Quickscan, December 2013
Download PDF [511 KB]

Quickscan, October 2013
Download PDF [975 KB]

Quickscan, September 2013
Download PDF [1.01 MB]

Quickscan, July/August 2013
Download PDF [1.14 MB]

Quickscan, June 2013
Download PDF [1.77 MB]

Quickscan, May 2013
Download PDF [1.36 MB]

Quickscan, April 2013
Download PDF [707 KB]

Quickscan, March 2013
Download PDF [743 KB]

Quickscan, February 2013
Download PDF [532 KB]

Quickscan, January 2013
Download PDF [598 KB]

Quickscan, December 2012
Download PDF [610 KB]

Quickscan, November 2012
Download PDF [437 KB]

Quickscan, October 2012
Download PDF [554 KB]

Quickscan, September 2012
Download PDF [927 KB]

Quickscan, July 2012
Download PDF [662 KB]

Quickscan, June 2012
Download PDF [738 KB]

Quickscan, April 2012
Download PDF [1.69 MB]