Lavern’s Law, A Medical Malpractice Law That Could Have Changed Lives

What is Lavern’s Law?  Lavern Wilkinson, of Brooklyn NY, had a curable form of lung cancer. Doctors at Kings County Hospital detected a suspicious mass on an X-ray, but they never informed Ms. Wilkinson. Three years later she died. Even though the hospital was blatantly negligent her daughter was unable to bring a law suit against the hospital due to current state laws, which state victims must file suit within two and a half years of the occurrence of the medical mistake. If Lavern’s law was put into place, victims would have two and a half years from the discovery of the medical error. In some cases, like Lavern’s, the failure to diagnosis wasn’t discovered for some three years, at which point it was too late. Had Lavern’s law been in place, her family would have had two and a half years from the time the negligence of the hospital was discovered to file suit. 

What is the Status of Lavern’s Law? The law wasn’t allowed to come up for final vote due to a senate majority leader, so essentially, current laws and statutes of limitations will, for the time being, remain in place.

How does this affect New Yorkers? You may have noticed medical malpractice attorney advertising often has an urgent tone, “contact us today!” or “call now!” etc. While the purpose of advertising is to connect with potential clients, the sense of urgency lies in protecting the victim’s rights as oppose to simply gaining business. In New York the Statue of Limitations can be limiting for victims. That’s why it’s best that if you suspect a medical error is the result of pain or injury to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

What is Considered Medical Malpractice? Simply put Medical Malpractice occurs when a medical professional or facility fails to properly care for an individual in accordance with acceptable medical standards, and that individual becomes ill or their condition deteriorates. Examples include: injury during birth, prescription errors, failure to diagnose, surgical errors, defective medical devices, failure to convey risks of a specific procedure, and failure to monitor. 

For more information about Medical Malpractice, or to speak with an experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney, click here.