On May 10, 2021, New York Assemblymember Helene Weinstein and State Senator Brad Hoylman wrote in support of Senate Bill S74/A6770, the “Grieving Families Act.” The Act’s goal—permitting emotional suffering damages in wrongful death actions—is benign. But New York does not need ad hoc solutions to individual problems—it needs holistic reform to provide consistency and fairness for those in our civil justice system.
New York faces grave economic challenges. Unemployment remains double its pre-pandemic levels and the state current projects a monster deficit, despite drastic service cuts caused by the pandemic’s revenue crunch—e.g., 10% in the City. Office of the New York City Comptroller, Comments on New York City’s Fiscal Year 2021 Adopted Budget at 23 (Aug. 3, 2020). Worse, the state was already in the throes of a housing crisis where, as New York Times’s Mara Gay put it, “an entire generation of New Yorkers has been priced out of buying homes in their own communities”—not just the poor, but the middle class. This cost-of-living crisis threatens New York’s way of life.