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Will Malpractice Statute of Limitations Be Expanded?

Currently the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice in New York is 2 1/2 years from the malpractice itself. Some lawmaker’s are pushing for a change to a statute of limitations that would  start when the error or misdiagnosis was discovered.  The victim would then have 15 months to commence suit.

The push for this change stems from a missed cancer diagnosis of Lavern Wilkinson.  By the time the cancer diagnosis was communicated, it was already stage 4 and the statute of limitations had tolled.

Advocates for the change urge that it is unfair that a statute starts to run, when you do not even know that the diagnosis or condition was missed.  Opponents to the legislation warn that this will increase malpractice insurance rates and have a crippling effect on the practice of law.

Lavern’s Law, as it would be called, was passed by the assembly last year and was presented to the Senate.  New York is one of the 5 remaining States  without a “Date of Discovery” Statute.

By Rosa M. Feeney


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