The “Lavern’s Law” bill that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law last week included important amendments. While GNYHA strongly opposed the original bill and urged a veto, we actively worked with the Governor’s office on the amendments. The new law enacts a discovery rule under the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases alleging failure to diagnose cancer, giving plaintiffs 2.5 years from the date of discovery to file claims, provided the negligence occurred no more than seven years prior to the suit being filed.

The amendments mitigate some of the more damaging provisions in the original bill, especially the revival of already-expired cases, and address the original bill’s many ambiguities, which would have spawned extensive litigation. GNYHA will now turn to working with the Governor and the Legislature on common sense reforms that will not only offset the increased costs to the health care system caused by Lavern’s Law, but actually reduce New York’s sky-high medical liability costs.