Courts Permitting New Lawsuits to be Filed
The White Plains accident attorneys at Worby Vecchio Edelman are pleased to report significant progress in the gradual re-opening of the New York State Court system. As of May 25, 2020, the Courts in the Ninth Judicial District (Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam, and Dutchess Counties), as well as those in New York City and on Long Island, are permitting new lawsuits to be filed. This is obviously good news, as we can now begin the litigation process for those of our clients whose cases have been held in abeyance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Conferences and Hearings
Judges are holding virtual Status Conferences, and, more importantly, Settlement Conferences. New York’s highest Court, the Court of Appeals, has announced that it will start hearing in person oral argument beginning in July. The Appellate Division, the intermediate appellate Court in New York where most appeals are heard, has been hearing virtual oral argument in both the First and Second Departments. The appellate Courts are issuing decisions on appeals.
The attorneys at Worby Vecchio Edelman are casting a hopeful eye toward resuming an in office presence in the near future. Obviously, we will do so in a safe manner, and will follow safety protocols in order to protect our staff and our clients from health risks.
In the meantime, we will be filing new lawsuits; attending virtual Court conferences; participating in mediations; and will be conducting virtual depositions via Zoom or other appropriate platforms.
We are extremely grateful to the Office of Court Administration, as well as the Chief Judge and Chief Administrative Judge of the State of New York. There has been an extraordinary effort to maintain a functioning Court system, as well as a recognition of the need to protect the health and safety of Court personnel and the people who use the Courts.
Deadline Extended for Child Victims Act Lawsuit Filings
We are also pleased to report that as we predicted in last month’s column, it appears that the deadline to file lawsuits under the Child Victims Act will be extended. Earlier this month, the Governor extended the deadline for a five month period, to January, 2021. As this column is being written, the Legislature – both the New York State Assembly, and the New York State Senate – has passed a bill to extend the deadline for a full year, to August 14, 2021. The Governor has not yet signed that extension bill into law. It does appear that the deadline to file will be extended for at least a five month period. While we are able to report either extension as good news, we would still urge you to contact us immediately if you or a loved one have been victimized as a child under the age of eighteen.
Deadline to register with the Victim Compensation Fund is Approaching
In addition, we continue to receive regular communication from the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund, as well as from the World Trade Center Health Program. Both of these agencies remain fully functional, and are continuing to process claims. This is also a good time to remind you that the deadline to register with the Victim Compensation Fund is July 28, 2021. You need only prove that you suffered a 9/11 related illness during the time period of September 11, 2001 to May 30, 2002, and that you were in the zone in Manhattan south of Canal Street to be eligible for benefits. We should add that you would also be eligible for benefits if you were in the zone related to the Pentagon, or the Shanksville, Pennsylvania crash site. You can review all Victim Compensation Fund material at www.vcf.gov.
Contact the White Plains Accident Attorneys
The White Plains accident attorneys at Worby Vecchio Edelman LLP and its predecessor firms have been here for nearly forty years, and we will continue to be here during this difficult time. Through good times and bad our attorneys have risen to the challenge at hand in order to serve our clients, and we will continue to do so now. Call us if you or a loved one has been involved in any type of accident. We’ll answer all of your questions, and give you our opinion, all free of charge, and without obligation. Since we work on contingency, we only charge a fee if we recover money on your case.