North Country Assemblywoman says new law will grant misdiagnosed cancer patients more time to seek compensation
Saturday, February 3, 2018 - 4:37 pm

Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne says legislation she supported to allow patients whose cancer was misdiagnosed or not detected more time to seek just compensation in court has been signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The bill, known as "Lavern's Law," would change the date when the statute of limitations clock begins from the actual date of alleged malpractice to the date that a patient learns, or should have learned, they are a victim of medical negligence.

“When a doctor fails to diagnose or misdiagnoses a patient, the results can be fatal. Often times patients and their families have been unable to seek justice because mistakes can go unnoticed for years, well after the statute of limitations has expired," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

"That’s why I helped push for this legislation that will make sure medical professionals and hospitals can be held accountable for misdiagnosing or failing to diagnose cancer in patients after the mistake is caught," she added. "It's important to protect the health and safety of patients and their families and ensure a fair justice system.”

Under the previous law, the statute of limitations begins when the malpractice occurred and ends two and a half years after the date of the alleged malpractice.

Under the new law, the statute of limitations for medical, dental or podiatric malpractice for actions involving a failure to diagnose cancer or a malignant tumor would not begin until the patient discovers, or should have discovered, the alleged malpractice.

Missed diagnoses sometimes go unnoticed when patients do not experience any new symptoms following the alleged malpractice. The new law offers a legal remedy for an individual who has suffered as a result of such malpractice, according to Assemblywoman Jenne.