Sometimes you can be suffering from an illness for a long time and not even know. And sometimes, that illness which may now be extremely serious or terminal could have been prevented. That is exactly what happened to the law’s namesake, Lavern Wilkinson.
A Fatal Misdiagnosis
After being misdiagnosed by physicians at Kings County Hospital, Wilkinson, a mother of a fifteen-year-old daughter with autism, passed away at the age of 41 from a treatable form of lung cancer; her diagnosis reasonably should have come in 2013, but it wasn’t until two years later that she finally received the correct diagnosis. However, by that point the cancer had progressed to terminal. In an attempt to secure compensation that would provide for her daughter’s needs in the future, as soon as she found out she filed a medical malpractice claim.
Unfortunately, courts refused to hear the case since the statute of limitations had passed. In New York, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims used to be 30 months (2.5 years) from the date of malpractice. Despite receiving more than 60 percent of senator support to hear the law, Republican state Senate leader, John Flanagan prevented it. The Assembly passed the law, with Gov. Cuomo vowing to sign it. However, Flanagan never let it get the floor due in part because of politics stemming from the opposition of the bill from the Greater New York Hospital Association. That’s when the Senate’s No. 2 filed a motion to have the chamber consider it after all.
Amended Legislation Passes
Finally in 2018, an amended version of the proposed legislation was passed into law. The law allows for victims to begin taking actions for medical, dental, or podiatric malpractice within 2.5 years since the plaintiff knew or should have reasonably known that the malignant tumor or cancer had failed to be diagnosed, or the date of the last treatment for the condition. According to the amended statute of repose, victims in New York have up to seven years from the date that the malpractice occurred to file.
Katter Law Firm Can Help Victims of Medical Malpractice
If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice in New York and are now left with a devastating illness, you may have options. When dealing with so much you should never have to handle it all alone. That’s why it is so important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced New York medical malpractice attorney. At Katter Law Firm, we fight to get our clients what they deserve. Nothing can reverse the clock, but you may be able to obtain damages that can help to make your life and the lives of your family members easier. To learn more about medical malpractice and Lavern’s Law, or to schedule a free consultation, visit us online or call us at 212-809-4293 today!