New York Senate Fails to Pass Lavern's Law

Lavern’s Law has failed to pass in the New York State Senate. Senate majority leader John J. Flanagan (R) has effectively halted the bill by not allowing it to be voted upon, even though the legislation has gained overwhelming bipartisan support. The passage of this bill would have aided the victims of medical malpractice in a big way.

Lavern Wilkinson, the Brooklyn woman whose name the law honored, passed away in 2013 from a curable form of lung cancer that doctors failed to diagnose three years earlier. The bill would have extended the window for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit by allowing victims to file within two and a half years of discovering a medical error, instead of starting the clock when the mistake actually occurred. Out of the 50 states in the union, 44 already have similar legislation in effect.

Opposition to the bill came from lobbyists representing the hospital and healthcare industry. They feared that the number of malpractice lawsuits would increase if the bill were passed. Evidence shows, however, that only around one percent of medical errors actually result in a claim being filed. Many recipients of malpractice are unaware of their mistreatment until it is too late, nullifying their right to sue.

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Categories: Lavern's Law