X hits on this document

122 views

0 shares

0 downloads

0 comments

32 / 38

BUSCHING-KAPOCHUNAS FINAL

2/4/2009 1:59:19 AM

632

HOFSTRA LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW JOURNAL

[Vol. 25:601

The Possibility of Preemption of Damages under Timothy’s Law

Timothy’s

Law

had

received

some

resistance

from

the

New

York

State Senate prior to the legislation’s passing. Timothy’s Law had been passed by the New York State Assembly four years in a row while the Senate ignored the bill.232 In the 2006 legislative session, the Senate agreed to pass the bill with some alterations.233 The inclusion of “substance abuse” in the list of mental disabilities and illnesses covered

by

the

bill

had

to

be

taken

out

of

the

language.234

As

a

result

of

this

alteration, dependency on drugs and alcohol was not Timothy’s Law, and insurance companies may continue to against these illnesses with regard to insurance coverage.

included in discriminate

The exclusion of substance abuse from the protected class of mental illnesses and disabilities in Timothy’s Law has the potential to create problems for individuals who receive their insurance coverage through employee benefit plans. Drawing a parallel analysis to what happened in the Spain case, if an insurance company first approves, then denies coverage for an illness they claim to be substance abuse, but which actually is the effect of a mental illness or disability, an insured may be barred from recovering damages under state law.

To examine the problem, individual in New York has been

schizophrenia.

The

insurance

consider a hypothetical case: an

diagnosed

with a mental illness

like

company

approves

treatment

as

necessitated by Timothy’s Law. The individual then proceeds treatment through antipsychotic or neuroleptic medications.235

to receive However,

there

is

a

strong

likelihood

that

persons

with

schizophrenia

will

develop

coexisting substance abuse problems as may increase the risk of mental relapses. 236 a

result

of

their

illness

which

To cleanse the body of addiction, the individual might have to

232. Timothy’s Law, http://www.timothyslaw.org/event_review.php?ID=7 (last visited July 11, 2008).

233. Shelly Nortz, Agreement Reached on Timothy’s Law, NAMI-NYS NEWS, 2006, available at http://www.naminys.org/timeagereement.html. In New York, the same versions of a bill with exact language must be passed in both the Senate and Assembly before it can be forwarded to the Governor to be signed. New York State Senate, About the Senate: How a Bill Becomes a Law in

New York State , [hereinafter How a Bill Becomes a Law] (last visited July 16, 2008). h t t p : / / w w w . s e n a t e . s t a t e . n y . u s / s w s / a b o u t s e n a t e / h o w _

idea

becomes

_

_

law.html

234. 235.

How a Bill Becomes a Law; see also Timothy’s Law, supra note 1.

See

Medline

Plus

Medical

Encyclopedia,

Schizophrenia,

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000928.htm (last updated Feb. 26, 2008) (stating that these types of drugs often are the standard method of treatment for schizophrenia). 236. Id.

Document info
Document views122
Page views122
Page last viewedTue Dec 06 21:51:53 UTC 2016
Pages38
Paragraphs1693
Words16843

Comments