For the second year in a row, a bill designed to help victims of medical malpractice has stalled in New York State Legislature as the New York Senate and Assembly ended its sessions at the start of the summer.
The bill, known as “Lavern’s Law,” was named for Lavern Wilkinson, who died in 2013 at the age of 41. Mrs Wilkinson died from a curable type of lung cancer, which was misdiagnosed by clinicians at Kings Country Hospital in Brooklyn. Unfortunately, by the time Mrs Wilkinson discovered the misdiagnosis, the time frame for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit had passed.
Under current New York law, the time frame to file a medical malpractice lawsuit begins at the time that the medical malpractice takes place. New York is 1 of only 6 states that start the clock for filing a lawsuit on the date the malpractice took place, rather than the date that it was discovered. Forty-four states have “date of discovery” laws, where the time frame to file a lawsuit does not begin until the malpractice is discovered by the patient.
In 2015, the New York Assembly passed the bill, but it was not passed by the Senate. This year, despite discussions in the Senate, no consensus was reached.