Gov. Cuomo Signs Legislation Allowing Victims of Domestic Violence To Fully Recover Pain & Suffering Damages Against Municipalities For Negligently Failing To Enforce Orders of Protection

On August 26, 2019, New York Governor Cuomo signed a new law that will allow victims of domestic violence to obtain money damages against either or both those: 1) who violate an Order of Protection; AND, 2) those who negligently fail to enforce that Order. What this law does is prevent municipalities from asserting limitations on their liability. Previously, if a prosecutor or police official in New York was found responsible by a jury for negligently failing to enforce an Order of Protection, which resulted in injuries to the victim, a jury would assign a percentage of blame to the criminal perpetrator and separately allocate a percentage of liability to the municipality. Under the old law of limited liability for pain and suffering awards, unless the municipality was found 51% or more responsible (which required them to pay the total amount awarded), the municipality would only have to pay their assigned percentage share of the amount awarded to the victim.

In suits filed against municipalities under these circumstances, the jury compares the misconduct of the violent criminal with the negligence of a municipality and decides how to apportion 100% of the damages between the two: whether 90% - 10%, 50%-50% or, any combination adding up to 100%. A jury may allocate far greater responsibility to the perpetrator (who usually has no assets and no insurance coverage for an intentional act) than to the municipality. In that event, a municipality found only 10% responsible would only have to pay 10% of the verdict leaving the victim - victimized once again. Under this new law, even if found only 1% responsible, the negligent municipality who failed to properly enforce an Order of Protection, will have to be 100% of any award made to a victim of domestic violence. This new law re-establishes joint and several liability for municipalities for negligently failing to enforce Orders of Protection, which will take effect on October 26, 2019-see See, CPLR Section 1602 (14).

Ronald C. Burke, Esq

Trial Attorney with 30+ Years of Experience Attorney Ronald C. Burke, Esq. has more than 30 years of experience and has focused his career on representing clients in cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice and legal malpractice. He is a seasoned trial lawyer and has won many seven-figure settlements and verdicts for his clients over the years, including many case victories listed among the largest in the history of the New York State. He has been featured in the news and is a regular lecturer for the New York County Lawyers Association, as well as having lectured before the New York State Bar Association. Ron is also an attorney with Kelner & Kelner, a New York personal injury law firm. Awards and Accolades Mr. Burke's awards and accolades are many. Among them, he has been included in New York Super Lawyers® each year since 2010, and he has received the highest-possible AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®. Verdict Search, a part of the New York Law Journal, frequently recognizes his notable successes after winning some of the highest settlements and verdicts in past years. He was also featured in their list of the "Top New York Verdicts " and "Top New York Settlements." He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as before the United States Supreme Court. When Attorney Burke is not handling legal malpractice cases, he is highly involved in the local community. He was a member of the Village of Rockville Centre Volunteer Fire Department, has served on the local school board and as Chairman of the local Zoning Board. Learn more about Attorney Burke and how he can skillfully handle your malpractice case by contacting the Law Offices of Ronald C. Burke, Esq. right away to schedule your complimentary case evaluation. Our firm is here to help! Contact a New York Legal Malpractice Attorney Our firm provides each client's case with thorough preparation and aggressive representation, ensuring that you win the best possible results for your case whether it is settled or goes to trial. As a seasoned trial lawyer, Mr. Burke can provide the strong and relentless representation you need to establish negligence in a legal malpractice case and to recover any damages you may have suffered. Our firm can recover compensation for pre-trial and trial malpractice, violations of fee arrangements, loss of income, pain and suffering, and much more. Contact us today!


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