Dolan Media Newswires — New York City and Albany have been collectively named the fourth most litigious areas in the country in the American Tort Reform Association’s annual “Judicial Hellholes” report.
In its report, the ATRA noted that the high amount of legal liability, which has subjected businesses to ever-increasing lawsuit settlements, stems from the state’s capital, where “a legislative majority generally fights reasonable limits on liability at every turn.”
The study noted that the most egregious of these laws is the state’s scaffold law, which automatically holds contractors and property owners liable for any on-the-job fall, regardless of their responsibility. Earlier this year, the New York Daily News reported that the scaffold law has ratched up the price to renovate the Tappan Zee bridge by $100 million.
It wasn’t just the scaffold law that led the ATRA to give New York the No. 4 spot. Payouts given to medical liability cases is traditionally much higher here than in other states, the report noted.
“New York City and Albany, the financial and political capitals of the state, have collectively fostered the Judicial Hellholes reputation of ‘Sue York,’” the report stated. “Each year New York City faces more than a half-billion dollars in tort liability from lawsuits alleging falls on sidewalks, inadequate care in hospitals or mistreatment by police.”
Ranking above New York in litigiousness according to the report were California, West Virginia and Madison County, Ill.