New York legislators have agreed on a compromise to extend the deadline for filing certain medical malpractice claims. The law, which passed the state senate and assembly on Jan. 30, changes the statute of limitations for missed cancer diagnosis cases from 15 months to 30 months after the patient discovers the error. The passage comes two days after Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders announced an agreement on the measure.
The new legislation is known as ‘Lavern’s Law" after a single mom from Brooklyn who died at 41 from a treatable form of lung cancer that her physician failed to diagnose. She left behind a disabled teenage daughter. The bill was opposed by lobbyists representing doctors and hospitals.
Medical malpractice cases arise when a medical professional has a duty of care to a patient that is breached by failing to comply with the appropriate standards of treatment for the given condition. In a missed diagnosis case, appropriate standards may call for certain tests to be run. If a physician either fails to order the tests or misinterprets the data, he or she may be liable for damages that are caused by the breach of duty. Malpractice cases are often complex and require extensive review of medical records by clinical professionals. For this reason, short limitations periods could effect victims.
When someone has been hurt by an act of medical negligence, an experienced medical malpractice lawyer could help in the recovery process. A lawyer can guide victims and their families through the complicated process and help prevent future victims by holding doctors and hospitals accountable for their errors.