State Senate Debates Bill to Extend Medical Malpractice Deadlines

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP

A common issue among medical malpractice suits is that the deadlines are relatively tight. The current law requires that patients file their lawsuit with 2.5 years of the alleged malpractice. This might sound like a lot of time but certain diseases which take years to properly manifest can and do slip by unnoticed until after the deadline has passed. This prevents patients with legitimate claims from getting their day in court.

This bill would extend the deadline from 2.5 years to 10 years ? to account for the delayed manifestation of symptoms. There are two lobbying groups on either side of the bill. First, the Medical Society of the State of New York believes that it will increase medical insurance costs which will result in “disastrous” increases in health care costs. On the other side are injured patients and other supporters of the bill who argue that New York has one of the toughest windows in the nation and often patients with misdiagnosed cancer are unable to sue because of these time limits.

As of right now, the bill passed the Assembly and is being debated in the State Senate. The likely result will be a compromise between the two opposing parties. There are several advocates for the bill whose claims are barred because their cancer was misdiagnosed years ago. They currently are unable to sue to recover damages to cover their current medical costs. Most states allow patients to file lawsuits within one to three years of discovering the injury and impose an overall five-year limit. This is much more reasonable than a 2.5 year absolute cut-off.

If you received delayed medical treatment because your doctor failed to adequately diagnose your cancer or other serious illness then you may want to contact an attorney. Your condition may result in higher medical bills and treatment, which could cost you a significant amount of money. An attorney can help you get the money you deserve to cover those additional expenses. The doctor made the mistake; he or she should be the one to pay for it ? not you.

Source: Claims Journal, “New York Bill Seeks to Extend Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Deadline,” David Klepper, June 7, 2016

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