Articles Posted in Failure to Diagnose

law-300x125Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature have finally reached a deal on medical malpractice lawsuits relating to cancer diagnosis. Under the new law, cancer patients will be able to sue doctors and other medical professionals for a wrongful diagnosis or missed diagnosis of cancer for up to two-and-a-half years from the date the patient discovered, or should have discovered, the misdiagnosis.

There will, however, still be a limit on when these medical malpractice claims can be filed. Regardless of when the patient discovered or should have discovered the wrongful cancer diagnosis, the injured cancer patient will not be able to file a lawsuit once seven full years have passed after the doctor or other medical professional’s wrongful act. The new medical malpractice law will also be limited in two unique ways. First, it will only apply to a wrongful diagnosis of cancer or a missed diagnosis of cancer, other illnesses were not included in the final version of the bill. Second, while the law will apply retroactively in a severely limited manner – wrongly injured patients whose statute of limitations ran out in the previous ten months will only have six months to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in a New York Supreme Court. Continue reading

med-errorThe third leading cause of death in America is death by hospital error, according to Johns Hopkins’ Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality. Following heart disease and cancer, hospital errors account for around 440,000 deaths each year. That means that there are more than 1,000 preventable deaths in hospitals across America every day.  Given these findings, its perhaps unsurprising that for Americans over the age of 65 – there is a 14 percent chance hospital visit will make them sicker.

Lacking mandatory reporting requirements, these kinds of errors are not typically tracked by hospitals and consequently, have escaped scrutiny by public health advocates and government officials. Speaking to The Post Star, Matt Austin, assistant professor at Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute, puts it more bluntly, “It tends to happen to a patient here, a patient there.” Continue reading

The New York Court of Appeals, the highest court in the state, ruled in favor of two sets of parents who were pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctors that performed their in-vitro fertilization treatment. The issue before the Court of Appeals involved whether the statute of limitations for the medical malpractice began when the doctor committed the malpractice or when the child was born.

A “statute of limitations” is a legal term for the time period in which a person can file a lawsuit after they have been wronged, if the Court of Appeals had decided that the clock started running at the time of the medical malpractice then the parents would have been effectively barred from pursuing a lawsuit against their doctors.

wrongful-birth-300x180A parent typically files a “wrongful birth” lawsuit after a doctor negligently, or recklessly, fails to diagnose a serious birth defect and thereby deprives the parents of the opportunity to terminate the pregnancy. Because of advances in reproductive health and genetic testing, doctors and hospitals now have the ability to diagnose some serious genetic and birth defects during the early stages of a pregnancy. Continue reading

According to a watchdog organization, New York has the 47th worst record in the United States when it comes to hospital safety. New York’s ranking has been in a slow decline – dropping a full seven spots in the last five years.

The watchdog group, Leapfrog, was founded by healthcare employers and unions wanting to provide more public information about patient experiences at hospitals. Among other factors, the group considers the rate of medical errors, injuries and infections, and patient satisfaction.

According to, the group is “widely considered among the toughest graders” and gave 15 hospitals an “F” rating this year. Most hospitals receiving a failing grade catered mostly to low-income, minority groups. Of the hospitals that Leapfrog failed, almost 90 percent were rated “average” by Medicare and Medicaid. Continue reading

Medical errors are gaining more attention as a whopping one-fifth of Americans admit to having personally experienced one. At the same time, Johns Hopkins University has released a new study that reports medical errors may be the third highest cause of death in America. With America’s healthcare industry continuing to reshape itself, healthcare advocates worry that unintentional harm caused to patients may not be receiving enough attention.

med-errorIn a survey of over 2,500 Americans by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement/National Patient Safety Foundation, most Americans reported generally positive experiences with the healthcare system. However, a full 21 percent reported that they had personally experienced a medical error. According to the survey, the most common errors were related to a person’s diagnosis and were most common in an outpatient care. Continue reading

The New York State Assembly passed a bill meant to help victims of misdiagnosed cancer by changing the time period which a lawsuit can be filed.  If the bill were signed into law, and Gov. Alaverne7n-7-web-205x300ndrew Cuomo said he intends to sign ‘Lavern’s Law,’ a cancer patient who was misdiagnosed would have two-and-a-half years from the date he or she discovered the misdiagnosis to bring a lawsuit – as long as seven years has not passed since the date of the misdiagnosis.

Under the current law, a victim of medical malpractice has two-and-one-half years to bring a lawsuit. The problem with the current law, according to legal scholars, is that victims of medical malpractice are often unaware that they have been misdiagnosed or mistreated. Therefore, victims can be time-barred from seeking a legal remedy through no fault of their own. Continue reading

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