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New York Senate Majority Leader Faces Pressure to Bring Med Mal Reform Bill to Senate Floor

Medical malpractice cases in the state of New York must be brought within the statute of limitations. In New York, the state law starts the clock for the statute of limitations at the time when the negligence occurs. If the malpractice happened in a private or a non-profit hospital, the case must be filed within 30 months of the negligence. If it occurred in a public hospital, the case must be filed within 15 months. 

An effort is underway to change New York’s rule so the clock begins running from the time the affected patient learns about the malpractice, rather than from the time when the doctor makes the mistake. The bill to make the change is called Lavern’s Law, and is named after a 41-year-old woman in Brooklyn who died in 2013 of a form of lung cancer that should have been curable.

Kings County Hospital failed to tell her about a small mass on her right lung when she underwent an x-ray in 2010, and the cancer had spread to her brain and spine by the time the cancer was finally discovered during a subsequent hospitalization in 2012. The stage four lung cancer she was diagnosed with was no longer curable. By that time, the 15-month statute of limitations had passed and she was no longer able to sue. Estimates suggest she may have been awarded around $8 to $10 million in damages if she could have sued, which would have been enough to provide care for her 41-year-old mentally disabled autistic child who requires round-the-clock assistance and who was left an orphan by his mother’s death.

Senators Push Majority Leader to Bring Lavern’s Law to the Floor

The New York Daily News reports Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan has not brought Lavern’s Law to the floor, even though there are more than 32 state senators who have signed on to the bill. There’s enough votes to pass it, and senators and patient advocates are pushing the Majority Leader to hold a vote.

Another state senator, Thomas Libous, is making a personal push for the passage of the law. A different Daily News article indicates Libous is being treated for incurable lung cancer that will ultimately be fatal. He plans to meet face-to-face with the Senate majority leader and believes the passage of the law would be one of the best things he could do at this point in his life.

With slow moving cancers, often a misdiagnosis is not discovered until long after the 15-month statute of limitations has passed. Because of situations like this, 44 other states in the U.S. have “date of discovery” statutes. New York, however, may not get the change it needs because of fierce opposition from the medical and insurance industries.

Hopefully, the pressure from the other senators and patient advocates will force the bill to come to a vote so those who face serious harm can pursue a case and not be disqualified from compensation just because they didn’t realize a doctor had hurt them until it was too late.

Jonathan C. Reiter's

New York City Personal Injury Lawyer / Aviation Accident Attorney

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Manhattan Medical Malpractice Info Center

Lenox Hill Hospital

A 652-bed teaching hospital, Lenox Hill Hospital is located in the Lenox Hill neighborhood at 100 E. 77th Street. This 652-bed on the Upper East Side of Manhattan serves mostly patients from Manhattan, but other patients are admitted from Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Long Island and throughout the tri-state region. Anyone who suspects negligence after treatment should speak with an experienced attorney immediately.

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Manhattan Medical Malpractice Info Center

Bellevue Hospital Center

Bellevue Hospital Center at 462 1st Avenue has 828 beds and experiences 115,797 emergency room visits each year. Bellevue had a higher rate of infections compared to hospitals in other states, according to a New York State Department of Health Report in 2009. Anyone who is injured by the negligence of a doctor or nurse at this Manhattan hospital, the oldest in the United States, will need an experienced attorney with experience and resources needed to take aggressive action.

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Manhattan Medical Malpractice Info Center

New York Presbyterian-Lower Manhattan Hospital

Lower Manhattan Hospital at 170 William Street in New York is one of the main campuses of New York-Presbyterian Hospital. This hospital, with 170 beds, provides a range of inpatient and outpatient services. According to an article in the New York Post, New York-Presbyterian scored 18 percent below average for patient safety in a ranking of hospitals by Consumer Reports magazine. Patients who suspect medical malpractice should not hesitate to arrange a consultation with a New York City attorney who can investigate and hold the negligent medical care provider accountable.

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Mount Sinai Beth Israel

The main hospital known as the Petrie Division is located at First Avenue and 16th Street. But Mount Sinai Beth Israel has other campuses, including Phillips Ambulatory Care Center at Union Square. Mount Sinai Beth Israel is a teaching hospital with 1,368 beds. If you suffered any form of negligence while being treated at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, take action immediately to protect your rights.

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Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center at 1275 York Avenue in Manhattan provides cancer care to patients. The hospital is composed of two institutions: Memorial Hospital for Cancer and Allied Diseases, which provides patient care, and the Sloan Kettering Institute, which is focused on research. Patients who suspect a failure to diagnose cancer or some other type of hospital negligence can contact a lawyer to discuss options.

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Manhattan Medical Malpractice Info Center

Mount Sinai Hospital

Mount Sinai Hospital at One Gustave L. Levy Place is a 1,048-bed facility founded in 1852. It is one of the oldest and largest teaching hospitals in the country. Consumer Reports rated Mount Sinai 31 percent below average for patient safety. If you or a loved one was a victim of medical malpractice at any Manhattan hospital, don’t wait to contact an attorney to find out if you have a case. You may be entitled to compensation.

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St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center

St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center at 1111 Amsterdam Avenue was ranked No. 14 out of the 30 worst hospitals for patient safety, as identified by Consumer Reports. The magazine examined four key measures of patient safety: hospital-acquired infections, readmissions and the quality of communication between staff and patients in regard to medications and discharge planning.

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New York-Presbyterian/ Columbia University Medical Center

New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center at 630 West 168th Street was described by a lawmaker as having “horrendous conditions.” Emergency room wait times last an average of 85 minutes, which rank among New York’s 10 worst. Any patient who was treated at the 995-bed hospital in Washington Heights and suspects negligence should not hesitate to speak with an attorney for a free consultation.

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Harlem Hospital Center

Harlem Hospital Center at 506 Malcolm X Blvd. received a 20 on a 1-to-100 scale gauging patient safety by Consumer Reports. The hospital received the second worst score in the nation, according to a New York Post report. Harlem Hospital told Consumer Reports it needs to improve in some areas, according to the Post. The hospital is a general medical and surgical hospital with 272 beds.