I was honored Tuesday to be invited to testify at the New Jersey State Judiciary Committee hearing on a bill to amend New Jersey’s Wrongful Death Statute. Currently, New Jersey law does not permit persons such as wives, husbands, children or parents to recover compensation for the emotional suffering they endure as a result of the death of a loved one. New Jersey law instead limits family members to compensation only for the economic impact that the death has had on the family.

In the Assembly, Assemblywomen Linda Greenstein and Sheila Oliver have introduced the Grieving Families Act which would bring important changes to New Jersey law.

Those in attendance were overcome by the courageous survivors who stepped to the microphone to share their tragic stories and describe the impact that those deaths have had on their families.

I was astonished to hear representatives of the pharmaceutical and business community attack this bill, with one business lobbyist arguing that the amendment would encourage frivolous lawsuits. It is astonishing, though not surprising that Corporate America would brand as frivolous, cases where people were killed as a result of their negligence.

Because children, the elderly, the disabled, the poor and in often cases women do not work outside the home, there is very little economic loss that is incurred when these people are killed. This important amendment to New Jersey’s Wrongful Death Statute recognizes the true loss that is experienced when a family member is wrongfully killed.

I will keep everyone updated on this important legislation.