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New York has enacted laws which permit adult survivors of certain specified sexual crimes to seek money compensation in civil court from their abusers and the institutions which enabled the abusers, even if the crimes took place a long time ago. The new law will become effective on November 24, 2022. Even if the time to sue (known as the statute of limitations) has run out, victims will now be permitted to file lawsuits up until November 23, 2023. In order to be eligible to sue, the victim needs to have been at least 18 years old at the time when the sexual misconduct occurred. After November 23, 2023, victims will no longer be able to sue (unless the statute of limitations has not run out).
The Child Victims Act, which gave similar rights to who were abused before they turned 18, expired in August 2022; such individual may still file lawsuits provided that the statute of limitations has not expired.
Wrongful death laws permit survivors to seek monetary damages from the parties who were responsible for causing the death of a close family member.
New York’s wrongful death laws were passed in 1847 and have not been updated since. Those laws permit family members to recover for monetary losses they incurred due to the family member’s death. The estate of the deceased can also recover for the conscious pain and suffering which the deceased endured prior to her demise, as a result of the wrongful act. These laws, however, do not provide compensation for the emotional loss and for the grief suffered by the survivor(s). As a result, in cases where there has been no monetary loss and/or where the duration and quality of “conscious pain and suffering” does not merit an award, there is frequently no legal remedy available to the family. That is frequently the situation in cases involving the elderly or the young (who were not supporting anyone) or victims who perhaps passed away while under anesthesia, i.e, without conscious pain and suffering.
New York’s antiquated wrongful death laws are decades behind the laws in the vast majority of states. The Grieving Families Act has passed the Judiciary Committee in the State Senate and the Assembly but has not been enacted into law. It is high time for that to happen.
My father, Seymour H. Eidman, passed away on July 5, 2019. After considering dentistry and flirting with a potential career in paleontology, my father settled into a long and productive career, mostly as a solo practitioner in Midtown Manhattan. Early on, he was a superb and fearless criminal defense attorney, even trying capital cases back when New York still had the death penalty. Eventually, he refocused his legal attention to the fields or plaintiff’s personal injury and medical malpractice work. Well before the days of the internet, he taught himself more medicine than he needed to know and through his people skills, became the best settlement negotiator I have ever seen.
After I started litigating and trying my own cases (and some of my father’s cases as well), he remained available to me and my clients and I was fortunate to be able to tap into his deep wells
of experience, insight and wisdom. Even now, some two and a half years after his passing, I sometimes have to stop myself from reaching for the phone, to call Dad in order to discuss a tough case.
As good as he was as a lawyer, my father’s interests and knowledge were spread far and wide, with particular expertise in the areas of American art, fishing and ragtime and swing jazz.
The last section of my new book, “Sketches of Sy & Other True Tales, includes many humorous and revealing stories about him.
I am pleased and proud to have recently published my second book, entitled “Sketches of Sy & Other True Tales”. I was inspired to start writing it after my father, Seymour (‘Sy’) Eidman, passed away. I recently published the book, which has three sections. The first section gives detailed accounts of some of the personal injury and medical malpractice cases which I handled during the course of a busy year. The middle part is a chronicle of the concert promotion business which I ran for a little over twenty years. Finally, the book contains a series of vignettes and stories about my father, who as a trial lawyer and so much more, lived a truly fascinating life.
“Sketches of Sy”, and my first book “A Roomful of Elephants & Other Essays”, are both available on Amazon.