This week, New York State signed a bill into law that gives victims of medical malpractice related to cancer more time to bring a lawsuit. Lavern’s Law will allow victims of cancer misdiagnoses two and a half years to bring a malpractice lawsuit. It is important to note that the two and a half year window begins when the victim discovered the error. Previously, that statute of limitations began when the error actually occurred, which caused many victims to miss the deadline and lose their chance to be able to bring a case. It is also important to note that there was an amendment made that would allow people whose deadline was up within the last 10 months to have an extra six months to bring a lawsuit.
Initially, this bill had aimed to extend the deadlines for all forms of misdiagnosed illness, not just cancer. However, an amendment was made to limit the law just to cancer. The state medical society has spoken out against Lavern’s Law, saying that it will increase the cost of liability premiums and even make doctors not want to practice in New York State.
The bill is named after Lavern Wilkinson, who found out too late that she was misdiagnosed with a curable form of lung cancer but didn’t know until it became terminal.
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