Meanwhile, Albany is getting ready to fork over even more cash to the trial lawyers, this time by permitting more lawsuits based on auto accidents. New York is supposed to be a "no fault" state, which means insurance covers bills from auto accidents, eliminating the need to sue. But that means less work, and less money, for lawyers. Hence, the new bill -- which vastly expands the kinds of injuries for which victims can seek damages in court. And it comes on the heels of legislation that, as we pointed out Friday:
* Taxes home, auto and commercial insurance to help fund medical-malpractice coverage for high-risk doctors.
* Lifts the cap on legal fees in such cases, letting lawyers boost their share of awards by as much as 50 percent.
Indeed, there's even a bill to further restrict health-care providers from interviewing witnesses in malpractice cases. It's no surprise, of course, that Albany keeps seeking new ways to line trial lawyers' pockets with New Yorkers' earnings: As we also noted Friday, Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver and Senate Leader John Sampson are both literally on the payrolls of top tort-law firms. Gov. Paterson's father, former New York Secretary of State Basil Paterson, is a partner at another big firm. Nor is there any doubt the latest move will cost New Yorkers a bundle -- up to $100 per premium, according to actuarial firm Milliman Inc. At this rate, it'll be a wonder if New Yorkers manage to keep any of their money away from the trial lawyers.