New York Senator Lobbies To Get Rid Of Caps On Lawyer Malpractice Fees


Posted on 27th March 2011 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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The hot-potato topic of medical malpractice is stirring up controversy in New York State.

In this instance, the brouhaha is over an alleged conflict of interest on the part of state Sen. John DeFrancisco, R-Syracuse, who is chairman of the Finance Committee as well as serving “of counsel” for a medical-malpractice law firm, DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, according to the New York Post,

DeFrancisco has been supporting a bill that would abolish a cap on legal fees in medical malpractice cases, the Post reported.

Some watchdog groups claim that putting an end to limits on attorney contingency fees will cause malpractice-insurance premiums to skyrocket and will mean smaller payouts to patients. I think this is a kneejerk reaction.

New York Gov. Cuomo is advocating that there be  $250,000 cap on “pain and suffering awards,” which he claims will reduce malpractice costs by $700 million. Right now New York lawyers have caps on how much of their clients’ award they can keep.

Currently attorneys can get up to 30 percent of judgments below $250,000, the Post reported, but not any more than 10 percent of awards that are larger than $1.25 million. The bill that DeFrancisco supports would throw out those limits.    

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