Two bills pending in the New York State Legislature would help New York medical malpractice victims by allowing them to seek compensation for medical errors that may not be discovered until years after the mistakes are made. According to a story in the New York Daily News, City Councilman James Vacca is calling on state lawmakers to pass the bills which would set the statute of limitations from the time malpractice is discovered, rather than the time malpractice occurs.

Law named for Brooklyn mother killed by medical negligence

Councilman Vacca’s city council resolution calls for the passage of “Lavern’s Law,” named after a Brooklyn mother who died after Kings County Hospital failed to diagnose her lung cancer in a treatable stage. Lavern Wilkinson went to the hospital in February 2010 complaining of chest pain, and was sent home with a clean bill of health by an inexperienced doctor after being examined by EKG and chest X-ray. A radiologist later examined her X-ray and found a small lump – evidence of an operable, early-stage lung cancer. Although the tumor was noted on Wilkinson’s medical records, Kings County doctors never followed up and Wilkinson was not informed of the diagnosis.

Wilkinson went back to the King’s County ER in May 2012 complaining of a chronic cough. By that time, the cancer had spread to both of Wilkinson’s lungs along with her liver, brain, and spine. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given six to twelve months to live. Wilkinson died ten months later, in March 2013, at age 41. Experts estimate that if her initial cancer diagnosis had not been missed, there would have been a 75% chance that an operation could have cured the cancer completely, and early treatment would certainly have extended her life.

Justice for New York medical malpractice victims

At the urging of friends from her church group, Wilkinson contacted NY personal injury lawyers in hopes of getting a settlement that would provide for her teenage daughter, who is autistic and requires extensive care and support, after she was gone. She was told that the New York State statute of limitations limits victims to a 15-month window to sue a municipal hospital – a window that she had missed because she did not find out about her cancer until more than two years after the initial missed diagnosis. Wilkinson was denied the right to seek the compensation she deserved and leave behind a secure future for her daughter.

In many other states, the statute of limitations does not begin until a case of malpractice is, or should reasonably have been, discovered by the victim. “Laverne’s Law” would bring New York up to speed with those states and allow people like Laverne Wilkinson to get justice in medical malpractice cases.

File a medical malpractice lawsuit today

If you have been injured or victimized by doctor negligence, it is important to talk to a medical malpractice attorney right away. NY personal injury lawyers at The Sanders Firm can help you file suit within the statute of limitations and get you the compensation that you deserve. Don’t delay – call our offices at 1-800-FAIR-PLAY for a free consultation.