Statewide and local-level business organizations this week in a letter to Gov. Kathy Hochul urged her to reject a pending measure that would alter disclosure requirements for insurance during civil litigation.
The bill sent to Hochul's desk is meant to provide for timely disclosure of the nature and extent of insurance coverage in personal injury cases. Supporters in the Legislature point to the "confusing and often contradicting array of case law" of what needs to be disclosed in these cases.
"Not only do these delays clog our over-burdened courts, they force injured New Yorkers to wait for the justice they deserve," according to a sponsor's memo backing the legislation. "This can be solved by simply clarifying the nature, extent, and timeliness of mandated disclosure of insurance policies in statute."
But business groups worry the measure could lead to a major regulatory burden for the private sector if the bill is made law.
"New York’s civil litigation environment is already the costliest in the nation, saddling each New York household with over $6,000 in costs per year, according to a study from the Institute for Legal Reform," they wrote in the letter. "Measures like the one under consideration will only increase that burden, to the detriment of consumers and businesses of all sizes, across all sectors. The only industry that stands to benefit from this proposal is the litigation industry."
Business organizations have long decried the state's civil litigation laws as too costly, and fear this measure would make it worse. Signing onto the letter in opposition includes the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York, the Business Council of New York State and the Associated General Contractors, among others.
"Measures like the one under consideration will only increase that burden, to the detriment of consumers and businesses of all sizes, across all sectors," they wrote. "The only industry that stands to benefit from this proposal is the litigation industry."