ATRA Backs Congressman Faso’s Pro-Growth Reform Bill Aimed at New York’s Antiquated and Costly ‘Scaffold Law’

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WASHINGTON, D.C., September 19, 2017 – The American Tort Reform Association today announced its support for reform legislation introduced by Congressman John Faso (R-NY) that “will allow the federal government […]


WASHINGTON, D.C., September 19, 2017 – The American Tort Reform Association today announced its support for reform legislation introduced by Congressman John Faso (R-NY) that “will allow the federal government to limit somewhat the astronomical costs imposed on construction and redevelopment projects by New York’s antiquated ‘Scaffold Law.’”

ATRA president Tiger Joyce explained that, “Personal injury lawyers and plaintiff-friendly courts in the crumbling former Empire State have turned the century-old, one-of-a-kind law  into an absolute liability standard for all gravity-related injuries suffered by workers at construction sites, regardless of the actual facts in any given case.

“The results of such absolute liability are sky-high project insurance costs dwarf those in other states,” Joyce continued, “and those billions in extra costs are invariably passed on to New York’s taxpayers, business owners, local governments, farmers and other private and public property owners.

“Even though a vast, bipartisan coalition, comprising virtually everyone except personal injury lawyers, has continued to press lawmakers in Albany for overdue state reform, the Scaffold Law remains in place as bridge and road building, the construction of schools and hospitals, and the development of affordable housing all cost much more than they should.

“Which is where Congressman Faso’s timely bill comes into play,” added Joyce.  “It would preempt New York’s absolute liability standard on all projects receiving federal funding and thus help protect federal taxpayers from excess construction insurance costs while it also spurs economic redevelopment and job growth where it’s desperately needed.

“ATRA’s proud to join our New York allies in support of Congressman Faso’s bill, the Infrastructure Expansion Act of 2017, and we urge all members of the state’s congressional delegation to get behind it.  Meanwhile, Assemblyman John McDonald (D-108th) deserves kudos for his tireless efforts to push state-based reform in Albany.  Perhaps enactment of federal reform will have the salutary effect of finally motivating New York lawmakers to pass Scaffold Law reform of their own.”

 

-ATRA-

 

The American Tort Reform Association, based in Washington, D.C., is the only national organization dedicated exclusively to tort and liability reform through public education and the enactment of legislation.  Its members include nonprofit organizations and small and large companies, as well as trade, business and professional associations from the state and national level.  The American Tort Reform Foundation is a sister organization dedicated primarily to research and public education.

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