In New York, loving families come in all shapes and sizes.

And all of them deserve the same rights under the law.

Who We Are

The Grieving Families Coalition is a group of New Yorkers committed to ensuring that when loved ones are lost in senseless and tragic incidents, the state recognizes the emotional suffering of those who loved them most. While often that might mean a spouse or a child, there are many surviving close family members who are left out of New York’s antiquated wrongful death statute. Not every family is built the same way - and when we unfairly lose people we are closest to, we deserve compensation based on our bonds of love, not on arbitrary legal designations.

Who We're Fighting For

The Grieving Families Coalition is committed to passing the Grieving Families Act in New York State.

The Grieving Families Act is supported by:

This bill would allow courts to consider emotional loss and grief when compensating bereaved close family members who have lost a loved one due to negligence. Under New York’s outdated law, an award for wrongful death is limited to compensation for economic loss only, effectively telling close family members that the love, companionship, and guidance our loved one once provided, count for nothing.

Forty-eight states have amended their wrongful death laws to include emotional loss, yet New York remains tethered to anachronistic language written in 1847. The current law harshly impacts children, seniors, women, and people of color who are already systemically undervalued in our society. In 2023, nobody’s grief should be measured by archaic notions of family breadwinners and their dependents.

We need concerned citizens to tell Governor Hochul that the Grieving Families Act must become law this year.

Countless New Yorkers have suffered unbearable grief and had no standing to be compensated for their emotional losses unless they fit a narrow, outdated definition of family.

We can change this and make our state a more caring and compassionate place for all families.

How YOU Can Help

We need concerned citizens to share your support with Governor Hochul. Countless New Yorkers have suffered unbearable grief and had no standing to collect compensation from insurance unless they fit a narrow, outdated definition of family. We can change this and make our state a more caring and compassionate place for all families. Click TAKE ACTION to do your part.

Learn More

Advocates push for wrongful death law expansion after Hochul veto

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Read this article about this important issue in the Times Union

Grieving Families Act faces second review by Hochul, who vetoed it five months ago
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Read this Op-Ed about this important issue in the City & State from State Senator Jessica Ramos.

Read this Op-Ed about this important issue in City & State from State Senator Jessica Ramos
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Read this Editor's Note about this important issue in City and State

Editor’s note- It’s time to sign the Grieving Families Act into law
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Read this article about this important issue in the Times Union

Groups ramp up efforts on wrongful death bill as signing deadline looms
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Read this Op-Ed about this important issue in the Gotham Gazette from State Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein.

Grieving Families Coalition_Website_The Facts About the Grieving Families Act
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Read about this important issue in the Caribbean Times.

Grieving Families Coalition_Website_brooklyn clergy and community leaders call on governor hochul to end two centuries of injustice against black and brown new yorkers
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Read this Op-Ed about this important issue in the Daily News from State Senator Brad Hoylman.

Grieving Families Coalition_Website_In New York some lives are cheap
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Read this Op-Ed about this important issue in the Daily News from State Senator Jessica Ramos.

Grieving Families Coalition_Website_New York wrongful death law is failing families
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Read this Op-Ed about this important issue in The Buffalo News from State Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Assemblymember Helene Weinstein.

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Read this Op-Ed about this important issue in New York Law Journal from State Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Helene Weinstein.

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Take Action

You can email the Governor directly here

Paid for by the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers.