Albany Times Union Opinion Author Wants Victims To Not Have Their Rights Through Lavern’s Law Granted

Cancer Misdiagnosis, Laws

On Saturday, September 16, 2017 the Albany Times Union posted an article that Lavern’s Law, which would extend the time for victims of cancer misdiagnoses to commence a medical malpractice lawsuit, is ultimately bad for New York because “New York’s medical malpractice system is already in critical condition.”  The article sites that nearly 20% of all medical liability payouts in the US are paid in New York, more than the entire Midwest and more than the total of all the western states.  The author, Adam Morey, who is a “government affairs specialist at Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York (LRANY), claims that Lavern’s Law will only make matters worse.

Despite being an anti-lawsuit support, who has posted several articles attacking plaintiff’s in personal injuries such as being “overly litigious” and paying for “clicks” to advertise, it is also very clear that Mr. Morey has not spent much time in court.

Any reasonable person who has spent time on a calendar call would know how few and far between personal injury cases are.  There are calendar call days with 30, 40, 50, or more cases on a single Judge’s calendar in a courthouse.  Of those, I may be the only personal injury attorney and personal injury matter on the entire calendar.  That’s right, I may make up between 2% or 6% of a Judge’s entire calendar for JUST personal injury.

The cases in New York are not as congested with personal injury cases as people, the media, doctors, and lobbyists want you to think.  Foreclosures are the number one offender, making up the vast bulk of all court’s docket.  Divorces are also very high on the list.

Yet, the Legislature just made foreclosures EASIER to sue and get judgments, by granting what is known as “zombie legislation” to allow banks and servicers to prove a property is vacant then immediately move via motion for a judgment of foreclosure and sale.  The Legislature also made it easier to divorce in New York too, by permitting no-fault divorces where a marriage has “irretrievably broken down” for a period of 6 months or more.

But we do not see people attacking the big banks or loan servicers in New York—despite banks and servicers like Wells Fargo and Nationstar being in the news for significant miscues.  And we certainly do not see people arguing that divorce—at a rate of 50% in our country—is the problem in society.

Rather we see people attack VICTIMS of personal injury lawsuits.  We rather reform the laws to allow victims who have been injured to GET LESS and have NO RIGHTS, rather than fix medicine.  Sure many doctors perform “defensive medicine” to alleviate the risks of malpractice lawsuits, but research shows that less than 3% of all healthcare costs are litigation-related.  Moreover, lack of communication is a major contributor of medical malpractice.

If doctors just sit and explain better to patients and perform their practice competently, medical malpractice cases would lower as plaintiffs would know what occurred to them and, frankly, part of it is the arrogance of healthcare providers not willing to admit a mistake.  I have had doctors on the stand that have literally driven a tool through someone’s bowels and NOT admitted to making a mistake.

But let’s take rights away from victims who have their bodies hurt, as opposed to hurting the wallets of doctors who just lose money—money, the dollar bill, the buck, is one of the most common things on this planet.  But there’s only one person’s body and soul.  Which do you want protected?