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Justice for Some Victims of Cancer Misdiagnosis

New York has joined several other states in enacting legislation that provides some measure of justice for cancer victims. The legislation, known as Lavern’s Law, is named for Brooklyn resident Lavern Wilkinson, who died in 2013 of lung cancer after her doctor’s misdiagnosed her.

In signing the legislation, Governor Cuomo said, “No one should have to go through what Lavern Wilkinson and her family did, and this agreement will help protect cancer patients and their loved ones, while also addressing concerns from the medical field."

For cancer cases, the 2 ½ year statute of limitations runs not from the actual time of the malpractice, but rather upon reasonable discovery that he/she has been a victim of malpractice. In most cases, reasonable discovery will begin to run upon the time of the diagnosis of cancer. One important caveat is that no case can be brought later than seven years following the actual malpractice.

In cases against municipalities including the New York Health and Hospitals Corporation, a notice of claim need no longer be filed within 90 days of the actual mail practice, but the time is extended to 90 days from a reasonable discovery that he/she has been a victim of malpractice.

The medical malpractice lawyers at Simonson Goodman Platzer PC are now investigating several cases that would have been blocked but for Laverne’s law.