New law extends time for cancer misdiagnosis claims in New York

On Behalf of | Feb 4, 2018 | Medical Malpractice

Medical mistakes are a consistent problem in New York and across the nation. Many people are injured or lose their lives because of medical malpractice. While people have the right to file a lawsuit to seek compensation, an issue that some have faced in filing a claim after a mistake related to cancer is time limits to file. A new law that Governor Andrew Cuomo negotiated and plans to sign will give people a certain amount of time to file a case when they have had an error involving a cancer misdiagnosis or other mistake related to the disease.

The bill will give people a window of 2 1/2 years to file a case. This bill is called Lavern’s Law. The issue with the previous window to sue was that people could file a case from the time the mistake happened. This prevented those who did not realize they had been subjected to medical mistakes until it was too late no chance to file. With the amendment, those who had the statute of limitations expired in the previous 10 months will be granted six months to file a case.

It is important for prospective claimants to remember that Lavern’s Law only applies to cancer mistakes. The law was named for a woman who died five years ago after she was misdiagnosed. She had a form of lung cancer that was curable but did not get the help she needed. She died at 41 and had a teen daughter who suffers from a mental disability.

Being informed that there was a misdiagnosis or medical error related to cancer can be difficult for a person who suffered needlessly. If the person died, it is even worse for the family when they discover that something could have been done to avoid the death had the correct diagnosis been made. With Lavern’s Law, there is an opportunity for people who have been harmed by these mistakes to pursue compensation through litigation. A lawyer experienced in medical malpractice cases will understand how Lavern’s Law changes the landscape and help those who can now file a lawsuit because of it.

Source:, “Cuomo, N.Y. officials reach deal on Lavern’s Law, aiding victims of medical malpractice,” Erin Durkin, Jan. 29, 2018