NYPIRG Applauds NYC Comptroller Stringer’s “Claimstat” Initiative

NYPIRG applauds New York City Comptroller Scott Stinger for proposing a data driven risk management initiative to identify ways to prevent deaths and injuries in New York City and thereby reduce payouts.
“Governments should practice the Hippocratic principle and its corollary: First do no harm and then figure out ways to minimize injuries, deaths and rights violations.  That’s ultimately the best way to protect public coffers,” said NYPIRG Legislative Director Blair Horner.

“Unfortunately too often public policy decisions are based on manufactured ‘crises’ driven by anecdotes, not facts.  Comptroller Stringer’s approach could help replace the fear-mongering of so-called reform campaigns that do little more than call for taking money away from injured New Yorkers,” Horner said.  “The Comptroller deserves credit for offering this creative approach.  We hope that state policymakers take notice and advance similar measures in Albany.”
The Comptroller’s report offered some notable observations:

•    ‘HHC has seen claims fall three percent between FY 2008 – 2013, with settlement costs down nearly 14 percent over the same time period. ‘ [page 1]

•    ‘while settlements for medical malpractice at HHC are down 22 percent over  the past decade, the cost and number of claims against the NYPD have grown tremendously.’ [page 4]

•    ‘Bellevue appeared to have encountered a shocking increase in claims activity between 2012 – 2013. However, a deeper dive into the data showed that a majority of the claims filed were related to damage to employee uniforms as a result of Hurricane Sandy—a batch of relatively small property damage claims that will not have a material effect on claim payouts overall.’ [page 7]

•    ‘As stated in DEP’s 2012 “State of the Sewers Report,” over the next ten years, the City is set to invest $2.4 billion in critical sewer infrastructure to “expand sewer capacity, build out sewers to parts of the City not connected to the system, and repair and replace sewers [page 12].’”  [Ironically, this observation is being made while New York State is siphoning off over $500 million in funding for municipal clean water programs proposed for use to help fund the Tappan Zee Bridge.] 

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In furtherance of our firms culture of commitment to always act with compassion, concern and commitment to our clients, community and colleagues, we have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligations while prioritizing health, wellness and safety of all we can. 

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced changes to many lives and businesses in our communities, and around the world. We, much like our neighbors and friends, have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligation to our clients, while also prioritizing the health, wellness and safety of our employees.

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This pandemic is unlike anything any of us have faced in our lifetimes, and while we can continue to emotionally support one another through it all, staying home and keeping your distance is vital to the health and wellness of our communities. It does not feel good to break routines, cancel events and retreat from our normal, day-to-day socializing, but let us remember that, in times of strife, prior generations were asked to go to war and we are simply being asked to stay home. Your isolation equals more lives saved, and more time for medical providers to prepare for the treatment of patients battling COVID-19.

When the dust settles, we will join together with a greater appreciation for our lives, local businesses, loved ones and health. Until then, we will continue to offer guidance from a safe distance.

Very truly yours,

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