Yesterday, without public testimony, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance S-1766, a bill sponsored by Senator Scutari. S-1766 would expand the wrongful death act to allow recovery for mental anguish, emotional pain, and suffering, loss of society, and loss of companionship. Under current law, damages in a wrongful death lawsuit are limited to pecuniary losses such as hospital, medical, and funeral expenses incurred for the deceased.
The League opposes this bill as it will lead to increased municipal costs through increases in liability insurance premiums and attorney costs, in addition to subjecting municipalities to unlimited and unpredictable awards in wrongful death cases.
The bill now awaits consideration by the full Senate.Currently, there is no Assembly companion. We will keep you informed on this bill and any related bills should updates occur.
Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., League Staff Attorney, F Marshall@njslom.org, 609-695-3481, ext. 137.