Bill Would Allow Victims Of Gun Violence To Sue For Emotional Damages In New York

Oct 31, 2019

New York lawmakers have proposed a bill that would allow families of gun violence victims to sue the shooter for additional compensation, like emotional distress.

The current law allows families to bring civil lawsuits against shooters, but only for economic compensation, like lost income. The proposed legislation would allow families to recover damages for non-economic losses, like grief and suffering. 

State Senator Jim Gaughran, a Syosset Democrat who sponsors the bill, says parents who lose a child to gun violence should be compensated for their loss. 

“They should have the opportunity to obtain some financial remuneration from a killer, who perhaps may have means, so that they can try to move on with their lives as best as they possibly can.”

Gaughran says the law would only apply to deaths intentionally caused by a lethal weapon. 

Forty-one other states have similar laws.