On February 2, 2010, Lavern Wilkinson went to Kings County Hospital complaining of severe chest pain. The doctors ordered chest X-Rays and an EKG. Although the radiologist noted a two-centimeter mass or nodule in her right lung and included the finding in the report, Wilkinson was not informed of the test results. Instead, she was sent home by a first year intern and told to take pain medication.
For the next two years, Wilkinson continued taking cough medicine and steroids,believing her chest pain was due to asthma. However, in May 2012, Wilkinson returned to the emergency room at Kings County Hospital complaining of wheezing and shortness of breath. A new X-Ray revealed that the two-centimeter nodule had doubled in size. Wilkinson was informed she was suffering from Stage 4 lung cancer with only six months to one year to live. The cancer had spread to both lungs, her liver and spine. She was also told about the Hospital’s failure to inform her of the lung cancer two years earlier.
The Damage Had Already Been Done
Wilkinson, a single mother of an autistic and mentally retarded child, had to focus on fighting the cancer. Unfortunately, after a ten-month battle, she passed away early Thursday morning, March 7, 2013 at Long Island College Hospital.
The type of cancer that Wilkinson’s was diagnosed with has a 75% cure rate if detected early. Had the Hospital informed her of the cancer in 2010, she would have been alive today and taking care of her daughter.
NY Statute of Limitations Make Matters Worse
In addition to the devastating news of the cancer misdiagnosis, Wilkinson was also barred under New York’s “archaic” statute of limitations for municipal hospitals to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit because more than 15 months had passed since the medical error. Her claim would have been dismissed as untimely, even though the failure to diagnose Wilkinson in 2010 was a clear error by the Hospital and its physicians.
New York is one of only six states that begin running the statute of limitations from the date of malpractice, and not from the date the malpractice was discovered.
Although it was too late to change the law for Wilkinson, her sad story has
motivated efforts at changing this illogical statute of limitations law.
Our Medical Malpractice Attorneys Can Help
If you or a loved one was injured as a result of medical error, you should
immediately hire a New York medical malpractice attorney to help you get the maximum compensation that you deserve.
The attorneys at Gersowitz, Libo & Korek, P.C. have the necessary experience and knowledge to aggressively fight to get you the compensation that you deserve.
Call us at 800.529.9997 to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our experienced New York medical malpractice attorneys today.