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September 20, 2018

Rotarians Learn About Lawsuits


FULTON, NY – Tom Stebbins, the executive director of Lawsuit Reform Alliance of NY, recently spoke to the Fulton Rotary Club.

The LRANY is committed to changing NY’s burdensome and expensive legal system to help create more jobs and energize our state’s economy.

He was introduced by program chair, Nancy Kush Ellis.

Tom Stebbins and Nancy Kush Ellis

Tom Stebbins and Nancy Kush Ellis

The United States has the highest number of  lawsuits of the world’s industrial nations, with New Jersey leading the states and New York following close behind.

Lawsuits cost New York State an estimated $4.3 billion per year!

This is partly due to the Trespasser Responsibility Law that is on the books in NY (only other state is California).

This law allows trespassers who are allegedly injured to sue the owner of the property regardless of the fact they were illegally on the property.

Tom said the Farm Bureau is one of the strongest supporters toward change of the Trespasser’s Responsibility Law due to snowmobilers being injured on private property.

Another law that affects the cost of lawsuits in NY is the Scaffold Law (only in NY).  The owner of a building has absolute liability if anyone falls from any height regardless of the circumstances.

This law has been on the books since the 1880s but has only become a huge lawsuit problem in recent years.

This law not only affects the general liability for an employer and property owner, but also workers compensation, as well.

The LRANY has 2,600 grassroots members.

Their goal is to educate people regarding the fiscal impact that lawsuits have on municipalities and businesses.

They estimate that reform could add 200,000 new jobs in New York State.

Tom stressed the importance of knowing and contacting your state legislators.

Their website www.nylawsuitreform.org offers information and links to our local elected officials.

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