On June 21, 2017, the New York Senate passed S.6800, known as Lavern’s Law. The bill passed with an overwhelming vote of 55 to 6. This victory is designed to be a response to New York’s infuriating issue of misdiagnosed cancer patients losing their rights before they even knew they had them.
In New York, the statute of limitation in medical malpractice matters is calculated from the time the incident happens – not from the time you find out about the conduct. New York is only one of six states that measures the time to sue from the date of the malpractice. This hits people particularly hard if they have undiagnosed cancers. A misdiagnosis of cancer generally comes about when there is a delay in detecting or diagnosing the cancer, resulting in an outcome that is significantly different than it could have been.
Lavern’s Law would start the window to bring medical malpractice cases involving cancer when the patient discovers an error, not when the mistake occurred, as under current law.
The Story Behind Lavern’s Law
Much progress has been made on passing Lavern’s Law. But one family who won’t benefit from the change is that of the woman for whom the law is named – Lavern Wilkinson. In 2013, Lavern, a Brooklyn mom, died at the age of 41 of a curable form of lung cancer after doctors at Kings County Hospital misdiagnosed her.
By the time Lavern learned of the misdiagnosis of her cancer and sued, the time to file had already expired. She left behind her 15-year-old autistic and developmentally disabled child who continues to need round-the-clock care. Although Lavern Wilkinson died far too young, she leaves behind a lifelong legacy for misdiagnosed cancer patients.
One of the biggest advocates to push for this law has been Edward H. Gersowitz, founding partner at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. In addition to his years of fighting for this law as an experienced personal injury trial attorney, Mr. Gersowitz has also used his position as the president of NYSTLA to continue fighting for the rights of his clients and all of New Yorkers.
The bill now goes to the Assembly and the Governor’s desk.
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 is finally set to join 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 provides substandard care that results in injuries or death, the patient should enlist the help of an attorney who specifically handles medical negligence to seek monetary compensation.
At Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C., our Cancer Misdiagnosis 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.
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 cancer misdiagnosis attorneys, please immediately call Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. at 1-800-529-9997.