New York’s Senate passed Lavern’s Law today. This law would create a discovery rule for medical malpractice cases where a patient was misdiagnosed cancer by a healthcare professional. This is huge, because currently victims of cancer misdiagnosis cases do not have the opportunity to fit these medical errors because the errors are usually made years and years earlier when the statute of limitations bars the case.
The statute of limitations is an important part of every case. This is a time limit for your action. Every claim has a different statute of limitations. If you try to commence a lawsuit outside of the statute of limitations period, it will be dismissed. That is because the statute of limitations is a required part of every lawsuit. If you do not comply with it, you cannot bring even the most meritorious of medical malpractice cases.
In New York, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice is just two and a half years from the date of the alleged act or omissions constituting medical malpractice. This means that the day of the medical malpractice starts the beginning of your time limit and the beginning of the statute of limitations.
The problem is that many cancer misdiagnosis cases are not discovered until many years later. This is because some cancers take a long time to grow and manifest symptoms or cause problems—even though they were detectible years prior. Usually when symptoms are obvious the cancer has grown to a point where it is untreatable and the patient will likely die.
For instance, if a doctor misses a diagnosis in 2010, and the cancer does not manifest itself until 2015, the patient’s medical malpractice lawsuit will be barred by the statute of limitations which is only 2 and 1/2 years and would have expired in 2012 and be expired by three years. A victim would almost automatically lose.
However, with Lavern’s Law, the medical malpractice lawsuit would still be alive today! The new law would allow for 2 1/2 years from the date of the discovery of the medical malpractice, which would be the cancer misdiagnosis.
This is huge because it would save a lot of claims and help victims get the compensation they deserve. New York is one of six states that does not have a discovery rule like this already in place. Now that the law has passed in the Senate, it must go to the Assembly for approval and then to the Governor for signature.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.