Queens Assemblymember David Weprin sponsors bill that would make staged construction accidents a Class E felony

Assemblymember Weprin speaks about his new bill in a press conference in Albany.
Photo courtesy of the office of David Weprin

On Tuesday, Mar. 5, Queens Assemblymember David Weprin (D-24), held a press conference in Albany to announce his sponsorship of a new bill that would make staged construction accidents a Class E felony.

The bill aims to combat what he describes as a disturbing rise in insurance fraud stemming from bogus construction accident claims.

Weprin was joined by state Sen. Neil Breslin, who is sponsoring a companion bill in the senate, along with representatives of construction corporations, the president of the New York Insurance Association, and other officials. 

The legislation is modeled after Alice’s Law, a bill sponsored by Weprin that became law in 2019 that made staged car crashes a Class E felony

Weprin, who serves as the chairman for the assembly insurance committee, emphasized key issues that he wants to tackle with the legislation. 

He wants to make sure that insurance premiums for construction projects don’t increase due to bogus claims, which can “trickle down” to increasing the cost of developing affordable housing. Furthermore, he wants to make sure that organized crime syndicates that undertake such scams are punished. 

“The problem is the cost of insurance on construction projects has increased tremendously. Insurance companies have to pay out these large claims and it affects everybody that is insured by these companies,” he said. 

Breslin echoed Weprin’s views, adding that the perpetrators of insurance fraud and staged accidents need to be punished. “It’s the good guys against the bad guys and right now the bad guys are winning,” Breslin said. “This kind of crime must be met with a severe punishment.”