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NY Governor Cuomo Signs “Lavern’s Law”: Med Mal Bill Extending Time Period for Patients To File Suit

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed legislation known as ‘Lavern’s Law’ which corrected an injustice in the law which had left certain victims of medical malpractice without any access to justice when initially misdiagnosed as not having cancers or malignant tumors.

Before this important legislation was enacted, the statute of limitations, (the time by which a lawsuit must be brought,) started running when the actual misdiagnosis occurred rather than when the victim actually learned that she/he had been misdiagnosed. By the time the patient learns of the misdiagnosis, it could be years after the actual malpractice occurred, outside the statute of limitations.

Under this recently enacted law, a victim now has time to bring a lawsuit against those responsible for such a misdiagnosis when the patient discovers the error, not when the mistake actually occurred. The law is named after Lavern Wilkinson, a victim of medical malpractice, who died of cancer that could have been treated had she been timely informed of the condition. By the time she was finally correctly diagnosed, the statute of limitations had run and no lawsuit could be brought.

Gersowitz Libo & Korek is especially proud of its founding co-partner, Edward H. Gersowitz whose efforts as President of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association helped to shephard this important legislation through the State legislature leading to its passage in June, 2017 and the Governor’s signing in January 2018.

The Story Behind Lavern’s Law

Lavern’s Law is named fro Lavern Wilkinson, a 41-year-old woman from Brooklyn who died in 2013. Her doctors failed to inform her that a chest x-ray taken in 2010 showed a small, suspicious mass on her right lung. By the time she learned of the doctors’ error, it was too late for her to file a lawsuit because the statute of limitations had expired.

The legislation seeks to address this problem. It begins the clock when the patient learns of the doctor’s error, not when the error was made. Although the law was passed too late for Lavern herself, she is smiling down on all the cancer misdiagnosis patients who get to have their day in court.

Legal Protection For Medical Malpractice

Most states have laws that allow individuals who have been injured as a result of another party’s negligence or recklessness to seek compensation for their medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of income. This is also true in the case of patients.

New York has finally joined these states in allowing cancer patients whose disease were undiagnosed more time to fight for their rights.

When a physician or any other healthcare professional’s substandard care and negligence result in injury or death, the patient may have legal recourse. With the help of an attorney who specifically handles medical negligence, injured patients can seek the full compensation they deserve.

At Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C., our New York medical malpractice attorneys understand the ramifications of medical negligence on the patient and their family members. We are aggressive in getting our clients the full extent of the monetary compensation they are entitled to for the injuries they have suffered.

Call Us

If you or a loved one was injured due to the negligent actions of a healthcare professional and would like to consult with an experienced New York medical malpractice attorney, please immediately call Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. at 1-800-529-9997.

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