Cancer patients who have been misdiagnosed by New York doctors or hospitals will now have a fairer chance to be compensated. Yesterday, the New York Senate finally passed the Lavern’s Law which is moving the starting date of the statute of limitations to the date of the discovery of the medical error instead of the date when the medical error was committed for cancer patients. The Assembly has also passed the law by a vote of 105-23. It will now be sent to The Governor to sign.
The original version of Lavern’s Law proposed to start the statute of limitations from the date of the discovery for all medical malpractice cases but a compromise had to be found with the Senate GOP. Despite being a restricted version, the passage of this law is excellent news for many cancer patients who were misdiagnosed but weren’t able to get compensation because the misdiagnosis was discovered too late.
Our partner, New York Medical Malpractice Attorney Jeffrey Bloom has been relentlessly pushing for Lavern’s Law to pass. Jeff represented Lissy McMahon, a single mother who discovered that doctors misdiagnosed her cancer after the statute of limitations had passed. Jeff and Lissy fought together to help pass Lavern’s Law. Jeff traveled to Albany to support the passage of the Law. Unfortunately, Lissy passed away before the law was passed leaving behind her 15 year old son Jack.
New York is one of the only 6 States to have the statute of limitations running from the date of the malpractice, even if the patient doesn’t know about it. The statute of limitation is 15 months to sue public hospitals and 2 and half years to sue private physicians or private hospitals. Many patients whose doctor failed to diagnose malignant tumors or failed to diagnose cancer find out they were misdiagnosed after the statute of limitations ran out. Now these misdiagnosed patients and their family will have a chance to be compensated for the medical error.
Lavern’s Law is named after Lavern Wilkinson, a 41 year old mother whose curable lung cancer was misdiagnosed. She discovered the medical error after the statute of limitations ran and was unable to get compensation. She passed leaving behind a 15 year old autistic son.