Extends the time limitations to commence certain actions.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend chapter 266 of the laws of 1981, amending the civil practice law and rules relating to time limitations, in relation to extending time limitations for certain actions
PURPOSE: This legislation would extend from June 16, 2014 to June 16, 2016, revival of time barred causes of action for an injury or death caused by contact with or exposure to phenoxy herbicides for those persons serving as members of the armed forces in Indo China from February 28,1961 through May 7, 1975.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 4 of Chapter 266 of the laws of 1981, amending the Civil Practice Law and Rules relating to time limitations, as amended by Chapter 118 of the Laws of 2010.
EXISTING LAW: The revival of time barred phenoxy herbicide personal injury or death cause of action would be extended to June 16, 2016. If no action is taken this statute expires on June 16, 2014.
JUSTIFICATION: In enacting Chapter 266 of the Laws of 1981, it was the intent of the Legislature, pursuant to the provisions of McKinney's Statute Section 59, to revive any actions for personal injury or death caused by contact with or exposure to phenoxy herbicides which are barred because the applicable period of limitations has expired.
The Legislature found that there is credible scientific evidence that exposure to these toxic substances have caused serious physical disabilities. The legislature also found that the citizens of the state who were exposed to these substances have been denied access to the courts.
The Legislature further found that in the interest of justice, the claims of the veterans of the Vietnam era should not be prohibited by the holding that a cause of action accrues, and the statute of limitations commences to run from the "date of injury". The obstruction to the prosecution of legitimate claims by individuals who served in Indo-China should be remedied by a discovery statute of limitations.
The Legislature further finds that the compelling circumstances present indicate a strong moral obligation by the State to revive the time barred causes of action that have accrued in favor of citizens of this State who served in the armed forces during the Vietnam era, and had been exposed to and had come into contact with toxic chemical substances, and suffered severe physical disabilities which were undetected or undiscovered in later years.
It is imperative that New York State continue to provide an avenue of redress for those people who have been injured by exposure to toxic chemicals.
By enacting Chapter 266 of the Laws of 1981, the Legislature sought to protect and preserve the rights of individuals who had been exposed to certain toxic chemicals, including a combination of herbicides known as Agent Orange, while serving in the United States Armed Forces during the Vietnam Era. This measure is in the interest of justice and ensures that victims who have suffered illnesses diagnosed years after exposure to the chemicals are not barred from bringing a cause of action.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7760 IN SENATE June 5, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sen. LARKIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Veterans, Homeland Securi- ty and Military Affairs AN ACT to amend chapter 266 of the laws of 1981, amending the civil practice law and rules relating to time limitations, in relation to extending time limitations for certain actions THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 4 of chapter 266 of the laws of 1981, amending the civil practice law and rules relating to time limitations, as amended by chapter 69 of the laws of 2012, is amended to read as follows: S 4. Every cause of action for an injury or death caused by contact with or exposure to phenoxy herbicides while serving as a member of the armed forces of the United States in Indo-China from February 28, 1961 through May 7, 1975, which is or would be barred prior to June 16, 1985, because the applicable period of limitation has expired is hereby revived and extended and any action thereon may be commenced and prose- cuted provided such action is commenced not later than June 16,
2016. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD13431-01-4