Governor Cuomo Signs Lavern’s Law: Victim’s Have Rights Restored!

Cancer Misdiagnosis, Laws

After a long wait from the middle of last summer in June when the bill passed the New York Legislature, until December when the bill was finally delivered to Governor Cuomo, there was much delay what would happen.  Then Governor Cuomo went through and signed or vetoed all of the other bills on his desk, except for one—Lavern’s Law.

There was a lot of controversy regarding Lavern’s Law from hospitals and insurance lobbyists who wanted it vetoed.  After intense lobbying from them, and not much lobbying from the victims or plaintiff’s side—who do not have the manpower or money to come close to the lobbying strength of the defense and insurance companies—it become quiet and a scary time that Governor Cuomo may actually not sign the bill he supported.  The sponsor of Lavern’s Law who helped push the bill became pessimistic and released a statement that it may become a pocket veto from Governor Cuomo.

About a week went by.

And then Governor Cuomo spoke.

NOT that he was signing the bill.  But what he wanted to STRENGTHEN the bill further!  There was a three-way agreement in the Legislature with Governor Cuomo and the bill was to be signed.  It passed in the Assembly quickly and was then approved by the Senate almost instantaneously.  Then it went to Governor Cuomo, and it was a little quiet again for a few days.

While the Daily News is reporting that Lavern’s Law was signed, no other major outlets were reporting it yet.  I have followed it on the New York State Senate website waiting for confirmation.

And TODAY, there is confirmation on the New York State Senate website that Governor Cuomo HAS signed Lavern’s Law into law!  FINALLY!

The victory in this passage is NOT that victims will automatically win their medical malpractice cases, like the insurance carriers, hospital associations, and defense lawyers seem to argue or portray.  This is not an automatic medical malpractice victory.

No—this is something basic.  This is the ability to just commence a claim.  To bring a claim and have a CHANCE to prove it.  That is all—a chance.  That is all victims, and their families, want.

This is because the present law requires a medical malpractice case to be commenced two and a half years from the date of the medical malpractice complained of.  But a cancer misdiagnosis may not become apparent, and cause health consequences, for three, four, five years later.  When the patient realizes that there was a misdiagnosis three years later, and the patient becomes a victim of medical malpractice, the victim CANNOT even commence a lawsuit because it is beyond the two and a half years.  The patient is victimized by the doctor, and by New York’s laws—one of 6 states that did not have a discovery-like rule.

But that has all changed with Lavern’s Law being signed.  Now the victim has the ability to just bring the claim and see in a court of law whether he or she was harmed by a doctor misdiagnosing his or her cancer.  Even if the patient loses, it is still a great victory to just have the RIGHT to have the complaint heard in a public forum, in a court.

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