How Cancer Patients will be Helped by Lavern’s Law

Cancer Misdiagnosis, Laws

The New York legislature has recently passed Lavern’s Law and, assuming that it is signed into law by Governor Cuomo, the time cancer patients have to filed a medical malpractice claim will be extended.  Governor Cuomo just reached a three-way agreement with both houses in the Legislature, and the Assembly just approved the amendment.

But what does Lavern’s Law Do?  Here it is:

The two most meaningful things that Lavern’s Law does are:

  1. Extend the statute of limitation for cancer patients to file a medical malpractice claim from 2.5 years, or 15 months for municipalities, to 2.5 years after date of discovery, or 30 months for municipalities, and
  2. Begin the statute of limitations running from the time the patient becomes aware that a misdiagnosis occurred rather than from when the actual error was made.

As of now the statute of limitations in New York only allows a patient 2.5 years to file a medical malpractice claim from the date the error occurred.  The time frame is even less, 15 months, if the claim is against a municipality.  This means that if the patient finds out about the error more than 2.5 years, or 15 months, after it occurred then they are barred from filing a claim.

This law, if passed, will provide cancer patients who have suffered a misdiagnosis a benefit they didn’t have before.  It will allow them to file a malpractice claim even when the mistake has been discovered long after the error occurred.  Victims will have 2.5 years from the date of discovery, but no more than seven years from the date the error occurred.  A retroactive date was proposed, to allow for a one year time frame to allow cancer patients to revive their time barred cases under current law.

It will also force medical professionals take more care and push for correct diagnoses the first time.  Early detection is extremely important when it comes to cancer treatment so it is possible this law will save lives.

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at