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Call(518) 274-5820

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28 Second Street
Troy, NY


Call(518) 783-3843

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7 Airport Park Boulevard
Latham, NY


Call(518) 584-8886

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Saratoga Springs, NY


Appellate Court Grants Class Certification in Favor of Suit-Kote Prevailing Wage Workers

Excellence in the Legal Profession Albany

On June 15, 2018 the Fourth Department Appellate Division granted class certification to a class of Suit-Kote prevailing wage workers.  The action was brought on behalf of Plaintiff Andrew G. Vandee and members of a class consisting of all non-exempt employees who performed work for defendant Suit-Kote on Public Works Projects from May 2007 to May 2013 and who were deprived fringe benefits required to be paid under the law.  The estimated size of the class is 700 members and the estimated value of the claim exceeds $10 million dollars.  Suit-Kote is one of the largest paving companies in the Northeast.  Suit-Kote provides services to several New York State agencies, counties and municipalities throughout New York State.

The class is represented by Ryan M. Finn, Esq. of the law firm E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy, LLP (www.joneshacker.com).  Attorney Finn stated:  “The unanimous Decision of the Appellate Court paves the way for the hard-working employees of Suit-Kote to finally be paid the fringe benefits that have been wrongfully withheld for a number of years.  While the process of litigation can be long and difficult, we firmly believe in this case and look forward to obtaining justice for this deserving class of employees.”

For more information about the case please email Ryan Finn at [email protected]

New York State’s Dram Shop Laws: Third Party Liability for Alcohol-Related Injuries


Most U.S. states have enacted a dram shop law on one kind or another, and New York is no exception. If you were injured through the wrongful behavior of another person, you are entitled to assert a personal injury claim against that person. In many cases, voluntary intoxication will provide all the legal ammunition you need to press a strong claim for damages.

A problem arises, however, when the perpetrator of the accident is too poor to pay damages and he is either uninsured or underinsured. In this situation, New York’s dram shop laws might allow you to file a claim against an alcohol vendor who provided the alcohol to the defendant.

New York’s dram shop laws appear in New York General Obligations Law Section 1100 and Section 1101, and in Alcohol Beverage Control Law 65.

Elements of a Dram Shop Claim

To win damages against a third party for injury or death caused by the intoxication of another person, you must prove:

  • you were injured;
  • the person who injured you was intoxicated at the time;
  • an alcohol vendor sold alcohol to the intoxicated person;
  • at the time of the sale, the intoxicated person was (i) “actually or apparently” under 21, (ii) visibly intoxicated or (iii) known as a habitual drunkard to the alcohol provider; and
  • the vendor’s sale of alcohol to the intoxicated person either caused or contributed to the intoxication that led to the accident that injured you.

Scope of the Law

The scope of the New York dram shop law is not limited to DUI accidents. You can sue an intoxicated person who fell into you and knocked you down a flight of stairs, for example, or even a drunk who intentionally assaulted you due to his intoxication. The law’s usefulness in the event of an intentional assault is noteworthy, because many insurance policies do not cover such acts.

An intoxicated person cannot sue the alcohol vendor for his own injuries, And if the intoxicated person is killed in the accident, survivors cannot file  wrongful death lawsuit against the alcohol vendor. The law is also subject to limitations on the ability of “drinking buddies” to file claims on this basis.


Two forms of causation must be proven in a dram shop law claim:

  • The patron’s intoxication must have been substantially caused by the vendor or social host’s provision of alcohol to the patron.
  • The patron must have been intoxicated at the time of the accident, and his intoxication must have been a substantial cause of the accident.

Property Damage

New York law also allows victims of an accident caused by a drunken patron to recover against the alcohol vendor for property damage caused by the accident.

Wrongful Death

If the victim of the accident dies as a result of the accident, the personal representative of the deceased victim’s probate estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit against both the patron and the vendor who provided the alcohol. Damage awards are similar to the amount that the victim could have received if he had lived after the accident and filed a personal injury lawsuit.

Exemplary Damages

Exemplary damages are extra damages for outrageous behavior by the defendant that are awarded in addition to ordinary compensatory damages. Although exemplary damages can be awarded against an alcohol vendor who serves a visibly intoxicated patron who later causes an injury accident, they are not allowed for serving a minor who was not visibly intoxicated.

Liability of Social Hosts and Others

New York law also holds social hosts, such as party hosts, liable for providing alcohol to guests under the age of 21. This also applies for assisting someone under the age of 21 in obtaining alcohol (buying it for him at a liquor store, for example), if the provider knew or had reasonable cause to believe that the person seeking alcohol was under 21.

Ambiguity: “Knowledge or Reasonable Cause to Believe”

The term “reasonable cause to believe” suggests that a defendant can be liable for providing alcohol to a minor even if he didn’t know that the minor was under 21. But what is “reasonable cause”? Would a defendant be justified in providing alcohol to a minor who presented a fake ID? What if the ID was an obvious fake?

Ambiguity: “Visibly Intoxicated”

The term “visibly intoxicated” is another ambiguous term that could determine whether or not a defendant is held liable (or whether he settles privately out of fear of losing in court). How obvious does a patron’s intoxication have to be to impose an obligation not to serve him? Note that an alcohol vendor may not sell alcohol to a minor – even if he is not intoxicated.

Ambiguity: “Habitual Drunkard”

“Habitual drunkard” is yet another ambiguous term that can complicate a dram shop claim. If the patron was not intoxicated but he was a “regular” at the establishment, does that fact alone qualify him as a “habitual drunkard”? How often does the patron have to become intoxicated before the vendor becomes responsible for knowing that the patron is a habitual drunkard?

How Legal Ambiguities Affect a Dram Shop Claim

An ambiguity in the text of a law invites lawyers to fight over its interpretation in light of the facts of that particular case. Often, it is the side with the better lawyer that wins the debate, which is all the more reason to choose your legal counsel with care.

Our Reputation Speaks Volumes

At E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy, our reputation speaks louder than we do. The U.S. News has listed us as a top-tier Albany law firm each year since 2011. Additionally, several of our individual attorneys have been awarded the following honors, among others:

  • Top rankings on the prominent legal ratings service AVVO
  • “AV Preeminent” rating by the Martindale Hubbell Peer Reviews
  • Membership in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers (limited to 500 lawyers nationwide)
  • Membership in America’s Top 100 Attorneys

Act Promptly

If you have been injured in an alcohol-related incident in Troy or if your loved one died in such an accident, you may be entitled to substantial compensation even without the involvement of a third-party vendor or socal host. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation over the phone, at our office in Troy, at one of our other offices, or at some other location.

New York Authorities Struggle to Deal with an Avalanche of New School Shooting Threats

Since the February 14, 2018 shootings at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, threats of violence against schools have been on the rise in the Capital Region and throughout upstate New York. While these threats have been found to be “copycat” bids for attention that did not represent a serious threat, some threats are taken seriously by the police.

While most threats are made by students at the schools they target, some are made by outsiders. Anyone found to have made such a threat will typically be arrested for terroristic threatening – a felony in New York. More often than not, however, a juvenile will ultimately be convicted of a misdemeanor such as falsely reporting an incident.

Recent Incidents

Below are only a few examples of the threats made against upstate New York middle schools and high schools since the Parkland shooting:

  • On February 18, 2018, a 21-year old man was charged with making a terroristic threat against Franklin Central School.
  • On February 21, 2018, a 14-year-old student texted a photo of a rifle to a classmate and threatened to shoot up St. Regis Falls Central School.
  • On the weekend of February 24-25, 2018, a threat was made on Snapchat against Gloversville Middle School.
  • On February 26, 2018, a 14-year-old was arrested for threatening to shoot several students at Corinth Central School, including his ex-girlfriend.
  • On March 7, 2018, four juvenile were arrested for making a series of threats against  Jarvis Middle School.
  • On March 21, 2018, a 14-year-old student was arrested for making threats against Bethlehem Central Middle School.
  • On March 21, 2018, 13-year-old student threatened to shoot up Galway Central School  in two social media posts.

All told, more than 40 reported or rumoured threats of violence have been directed against schools in upstate New York in only the first few weeks after the Parkland shooting.

What the Law Says

New York state’s current terroristic threatening statute provides as follows:

  1. A person is guilty of making a terroristic threat when with intent
    to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, influence the policy of a
    unit of government by intimidation or coercion, or affect the conduct of
    a unit of government by murder, assassination or kidnapping, he or she
    threatens to commit or cause to be committed a specified offense and
    thereby causes a reasonable expectation or fear of the imminent
    commission of such offense.
    2. It shall be no defense to a prosecution pursuant to this section
    that the defendant did not have the intent or capability of committing
    the specified offense or that the threat was not made to a person who
    was a subject thereof.

Despite the statute’s harsh language, officials continue to complain that many threats simply do not meet the threshold for a successful prosecution, thereby paving the way for a reduction in the seriousness of the charge or an outright acquittal.

Purpose of the Law

The purpose of the terroristic threatening law is not limited to preventing the threats from actually being carried out. It is also to protect the targets of those threats, and those responsible for protecting them, from being subjected to emotional distress and from expending the time and energy necessary to guard against the threat (shutting down school for the day, for example).


An adult defendant faces two to seven years in prison if convicted of terroristic threatening. The juvenile criminal justice system is more flexible – it takes into account many factors including the defendant’s age, maturity, and mental health. The maximum penalty is incarceration in a juvenile facility until age 18. In some cases, however, older juveniles can be tried as adults.


A variety of defenses might be employed, depending on the circumstances. Some of the most common include:

  • Lack of criminal intent – To be convicted of terroristic threatening, criminal intent must be demonstrated. Excluding political motives, which are normally not relevant to threats against schools, the motivation must be to “intimidate or coerce.” It is up to the prosecutor to prove this. To win an acquittal, the defense needs only to raise reasonable doubt as to whether the defendant actually possessed this intent.
  • The threat was not reasonable – This means that a “reasonable person” would not conclude that the threat is credible. For example, a diminutive high school cheerleader threatening to murder the entire football team with her bare hands might fall into this category.
  • No threat was actually made – Reports of the threat might be based on rumor or hearsay, for example. Another example might be a cryptic or poetic statement made on social media that was misinterpreted as a threat. Of course, the latter circumstances could also justify a defense of “no criminal intent.”

Current Stopgap Measures

Due to the spate of recent school shootings, the political climate in New York is definitely moving against lenient treatment of people who threaten to shoot up schools, even if they are juveniles. There are increasing calls to beef up the terroristic threatening law, or even pass a new law to ensure that convicted defendants are actually convicted of the felonies they are charged with.

In the meantime, students that have made threats are typically subjected to a mental health examination and placed on probation. Depending on the results of the mental health screening, they may be placed on medication, sent to counseling, or even be involuntarily committed to an in-patient mental health facility.

We Can Help

The New York criminal justice system is a maze for the uninitiated, and it is brutally competitive. Although the juvenile criminal justice system is fundamentally different from the adult criminal justice system, it can be fearfully difficult to deal with as well. Fear not – at E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy, we’ve got your back.

Our offices are located in Albany, Troy, Latham, and Saratoga, and we serve clients throughout the Capital Region, upstate New York, and beyond. If your child has been charged with a crime or if you anticipate such a charge, call us at (518) 274-5820 (Albany) or contact us online to schedule a free case consultation.

Deadline to Challenge the Assessment On Your Property – Tues 5/22/18

The deadline to challenge the assessment on your property is Tuesday, May 22, 2018.  In order to preserve your rights to reduce you real property taxes, you must file a grievance with the local Assessor or that municipality’s Board of Assessment Review on or before that date.  The attorneys at E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy LLP have worked on assessments for many years and will be able to help you in your pursuit of real property tax relief.

Contact David R. Murphy at (518) 213-0117, [email protected], or Patrick L. Seely, Jr. at (518) 213-0118, [email protected], to discuss your assessment.

Failure to Diagnose & Medical Malpractice in Albany, New York

doctor talking to male patient

There are many ways to accidentally harm someone. Most of us would have more sympathy for a doctor who negligently fails to diagnose cancer than for a motorist who negligently runs a red light and causes an accident. From a legal point of view, however, both of these parties are equally responsible for the harm they caused, and both are liable to pay full compensation.

Not all adverse medical outcomes amount to medical malpractice, of course. New York guards against the possibility of meritless lawsuits by requiring your attorney to file a Certificate of Merit to maintain the lawsuit. This means that your attorney must consult with a licensed physician and decide that a “reasonable basis” exists for the lawsuit.

Common Reasons for Failure to Diagnose

“Failure to diagnose” cancer refers to two distinct scenarios:

  • The doctor made no diagnosis of your condition whatsoever
  • The doctor diagnosed your condition as something other than cancer.

Either way, the doctor failed to diagnose your cancer. Since at least one expert has concluded that medical diagnoses are wrong about 15 to 20 percent of the time, your chances of falling victim to a negligent failure to diagnose cancer are far from remote. Following are some of the most common reasons why health care providers fail to diagnose cancer:

  • Failure to take an adequate medical history of you and your family;
  • Failure to order appropriate diagnostic tests;
  • Misinterpretation of test results;
  • Failure to communicate (failure to transfer test results to the appropriate person, for example)

The Differential Diagnosis List

When a doctor examines your condition, he will create a “differential diagnosis list” in which he lists possible conditions that could be responsible for your symptoms, in descending order of their likelihood. For example:

  1. Diverticulitis
  2. Crohn’s disease
  3. Colon cancer

The doctor will then attempt to rule out various possible conditions using means such as biopsies, etc. Malpractice may occur, for example, if your actual condition is not on the differential diagnosis list at all, or if it was on the list but the doctor failed to take steps rule out your actual condition. The ultimate standard is what a “reasonably prudent doctor” would have done under the same circumstances.

What is a “Reasonably Prudent” Doctor?

The “reasonably prudent doctor” is a fictional character. The reasonably prudent doctor is not the best doctor, and he is not even the average doctor (otherwise about half of all doctors would commit malpractice on a daily basis). Instead, the “reasonably prudent doctor” is a doctor who meets the minimum standard necessary to avoid committing malpractice.

This standard, although “minimum”, is a high standard. By a process of elimination, there has to be a “worst doctor” out there somewhere — it is a mathematical inevitability, Nevertheless, even the worst doctor should still be competent enough to inspire confidence. Whether a “reasonably prudent doctor” would have diagnosed your cancer is typically determined by expert testimony.

Proving Your Case in Court (or at the Settlement Table)

Although most personal injury claims are resolved at the settlement table rather than in court, a particularly high percentage of medical malpractice claims end up in court, because health care providers fight hard to protect their reputations. This reality means that even if you end up winning a settlement, you may still have to collect enough evidence to prove your claim in court.

The four elements that you must prove to win a medical malpractice claim are:

  1. Duty. You must prove that a doctor/patient relationship existed. This is normally easy to prove.
  2. Breach. Expert testimony must establish the standard of care (the “reasonably prudent doctor” standard), and you must prove that the doctor failed to meet this standard.
  3. Causation: You must prove that the doctor’s failure to diagnose your cancer caused you actual harm.
  4. Damages: You must prove exactly how much harm you suffered, including both economic and non-economic losses (pain and suffering, for example).

Wrongful Death Claims

Compared to other forms of medical malpractice, failure to diagnose cancer is particularly likely to result in the death of the patient. When this happens, the patient’s claim does not die with him — it is simply transformed into a wrongful death claim.

The personal representative of the deceased victim’s probate estate is the party who files a wrongful death lawsuit. This person is usually named in the victim’s will and is typically a close relative (often the victim’s spouse). If the victim left no will (a child, for example), a probate court will appoint the personal representative, and it will usually appoint a close relative.

The Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations sets the deadline by which you must file a medical malpractice claim. If you miss it your claim will die, even at the settlement table. The New York medical malpractice statute of limitations was modified by “Lavern’s law” when it applies to failure to diagnose cancer. It is rather complex, and you should consult with a lawyer to determine the exact date:

  • You generally have two and a half years from either (i) the date that you discovered or should have discovered the malpractice or (ii) the last day of continuous treatment, whichever is later, to file the lawsuit.
  • In no case will you be able to file a lawsuit any later than seven years after the malpractice actually occurred
  • Special rules apply to claims that arose before the law was passed (January 31, 2018)

Contact Us Today

E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy has been around for more than a hundred years and has been named a first-tier Albany law firm by U.S. News every year since 2011.

We serve clients from all over Albany including Downtown Albany, Arbor Hill, Pine Hills and elsewhere. We also serve clients in the Capital Region, upstate New York and beyond.

If you suspect that you are a victim of a negligent failure to diagnose, contact us today to schedule a free case consultation, where we can answer your questions and discuss your options.

Uber/Lyft Accidents

Uber/LyftCompanies like Uber and Lyft are part of the new wave of Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) that may soon completely marginalize the traditional taxi industry. Although the ridesharing industry has significantly lowered the cost of intra-city travel for people without access to their own vehicle, it has introduced new complications as well.

TNC drivers are not as well-trained as their taxi driver counterparts, and accidents are not terribly uncommon. When this happens, the legal situation can become complex very quickly,  because they potentially involve three different insurance policies – the driver’s commercial insurance (through Uber or Lyft), the driver’s personal insurance and the other driver’s personal insurance.

What to Do After a Ridesharing Accident

The steps to take after a ridesharing accident are more or less the same as the steps you should take after any accident that might generate a personal injury claim, including:

  • Seek medical treatment ASAP. Part of the reason for this is to generate evidence for your claim.
  • Contact the police and make sure they fill out a police report. This is likely to happen without your initiative under most circumstances.
  • Collect driver’s license, phone number, and insurance information from all drivers involved in the accident
  • Obtain names and phone numbers of any witnesses
  • Photograph the scene of the accident with your cell phone
  • Contact a competent personal injury attorney
  • Do not speak to any insurance adjusters – refer them to your attorney instead.

If you were seriously injured, you will of course have to skip or delay some of these steps.

Client Testimonial

“You and your staff are tops in our book. We sincerely appreciate everything you have done, and keeping us so informed with evening and weekend calls. You are so excellent at your profession and it was clearly demonstrated in what you did for us. You thoroughly enjoy your job!”

– C. & J. Gottbehut

Kinds of Personal Injury Claims We Typically Handle

Below is a list of some of the types of traffic accident cases we handle:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I claim against my own no-fault insurance policy if the app was on and I had no assignment?

Probably not, because most personal auto insurance policies exclude coverage for commercial activities. As long as you were driving with the app on, your activity would be considered “commercial.” Check your policy language to confirm its coverage.

What does Uber insurance cover?

Uber insurance covers:

On assignment:

  • $1.25 million in personal liability per accident
  • $1.25 million in underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) up to $50,000 for each occupant, regardless of fault

App on, no assignments:

  • $75,000 per injury/$150,000 per accident/$25,000 property damage
  • $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident uninsured motorist insurance
  • PIP protection up to $50,000

What does Lyft insurance cover?

Lyft insurance covers the following:

On assignment:

  • $1 million in liability per accident
  • $1 million in underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage

App on, no assignments:

  • $50,000 per person, $100,00 per accident, $25,000 property damage

Are there any gaps in insurance coverage?

Coverage loopholes in Uber, Lyft, and most personal insurance policies include the following:

  • Damage to a ridesharing driver’s car due to an accident that occurred while his app was on with no current assignments (depending on circumstances, the other driver’s insurance might cover these damages)
  • Personal injury to a ridesharing driver without an assignment, if the accident was the ridesharing driver’s fault

Can I still file a claim if the accident was partly my fault?

Yes, as long as the accident was not completely your fault. Under New York’s “pure comparative fault” system, you are entitled to some damages (discounted by your degree of fault) even if you were mostly at fault. Keep in mind that the other driver can also sue you as well, and you might end up with a net loss.

I suspect that my driver was intoxicated. Can I add punitive damages to my claim?

Although it is possible to receive punitive damages under New York law in certain circumstances, insurance companies are not obligated to pay these damages. Consequently, you might not be able to collect punitive damages unless the driver can pay them out of his own pocket. Since ridesharing jobs are relatively low-paid, it is unlikely that an Uber or Lyft driver could afford to pay punitive damages out of their own pocket.

What are pain and suffering damages?

Pain and suffering damage compensate you for the physical suffering that you experienced as a result of your personal injury. Unlike punitive damages, these types of damages are commonly awarded, and in some cases they might far exceed the amount of medical expense reimbursement.

Who files the claim if the accident victim dies from his injuries?

In this case, a wrongful death claim is appropriate. It must be filed by the personal representative of the victim’s probate estate – the person named in the victim’s last will and testament or appointed by the probate court. The personal representative must distribute these damages appropriately after they are awarded.

Our Reputation

  1. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy has been showered with awards since shortly after its founding. Some of the more prominent honors bestowed upon our firm and its members include:
  • Ranked among “Best Law Firm” in Albany by U.S. News
  • “AV Preeminent” ratings from the industry standard Martindale Hubbell legal directory
  • Multi-million Dollar Advocates Forum for personal injury lawyers, representing fewer that one percent of all U.S. lawyers
  • 10.0 rating by the AVVO legal rating service

Turn Time into Your Friend Instead of Your Enemy

The reality of personal injury law is that a personal injury claim is usually at its strongest shortly after it arises. It’s not only the statute of limitations deadline that matters – witness memories, for example, are freshest soon after the event. It is in your interest to secure expert legal representation as soon as possible after your accident.

If you suffered an injury in a ridesharing accident in the state of New York, and if you suspect that someone other than yourself may be responsible for the accident, contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation.

As a Cancer Patient, What Does Lavern’s Law Do for You?

Lavern’s Law Lawyers Serving Cancer Patients in New York State

gavel and stethescopeHave you been diagnosed with a form of cancer?  Is it possible that you were previously misdiagnosed about your cancerous condition?  If the answer is yes, our law firm of E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy is prepared to assist you, diligently seeking to fight to preserve your rights and to receive the justice that you rightly deserve.

What is the So-called Lavern’s Law?

After the passage in the Assembly and the New York State Senate, the Governor of the State of New York signed into law what’s known as the “Lavern’s Law.”  Essentially, what this new law does is extend the time period for late cancer diagnosis victims to bring a legal action.  In effect, it is a “discovery” rule.

Who is Lavern?

The new “Lavern’s Law” was named after a Bronx resident, one Lavern Wilkinson who happened to pass away in 2013, at the young age of 41.  Wilkerson passed away due to what was believed to be a treatable form of lung cancer.  It was reported in the New York Times that, in 2010, doctors did not catch a curious, two centimeter mass upon her right lung.  (The New York Times wrote many editorials advocating for the passage of new legislation.)  

She returned to Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn in 2012, due to her experiencing a chronic cough.  The hospital performed an X-ray, and what resulted was frightening.  The X-ray revealed that cancer had now spread throughout her entire body.  When Wilkerson learned of the cancer, and the doctor’s initial error, it was too late to take legal action, because by then the statute of limitation period had run its full course.  

What Was the Law before the Lavern’s Law Was Enacted?

Prior to the adoption of the Lavern’s Law, when a doctor missed a diagnosis of cancer, there would be just 2 ½ years to bring a legal action against the doctor for medical malpractice.  Even though 2 ½ years seems like a long period, in actuality it is not.

It happens where a patient doesn’t discover that the doctor missed the cancer diagnosis until months later, or even years later.  Generally, cancer is a slow growing disease.  A misdiagnosis means that the disease will continue to grow without the patient being aware of it.  Sadly, a misdiagnosis can lead to the patient’s death.

A senate bill sponsor of Lavern’s Law was John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse).  DeFrancisco, who was also a long-time trial lawyer, had said that, with the vast majority of cases where a cancerous mass had been found but not disclosed, the statute of limitations had run out prior to the patient being able to bring a lawsuit.

Trial Lawyers Versus Hospitals

Throughout the political process, Lavern’s Law was strongly divided by two distinct sides.  The trial lawyers called the bill “fair play.”  The deep-pocketed medical establishment, such as the hospitals and medical societies, sought to block the measure at every step along the way.  The opposition was predicting that some doctors were likely to leave the state, and that insurance rates would skyrocket.  Further, the medical establishment averred that many of the states had similar laws in place as previously existed in New York, and these states also have placed caps on pain and suffering awards and limitations on the total damages that can be awarded.

According to the New York Daily News, certain groups went even further.  The New York Medical Society expressed that it was “extremely concerned about the ultimate impact to New Yorkers’ access to care” if the new bill was to be signed into law.  Additional hyperbole was cast.  The Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York complained that “at the behest of the trial lawyers, lawmakers in Albany have laid the groundwork to turn New York’s medical care crises into a full-blown catastrophe.”

Concerning the legislation, the New York Times reported that “The bill guards the interests of patients who might otherwise be frozen out of seeking just compensation simply because they had no way of knowing that a grave diagnostic error had been made.”

According to the New York Law Journal, the president of the New York Trial Lawyers Association, stated the following concerning Lavern’s Law:  “Lavern’s Law is the result of an extremely committed coalition of advocates, courageous patients and their families and others who came together to address injustice.  We will continue to work across New York to make our state fairer, safer and more equitable for New Yorkers of all walks of life.”

A Change in the Law – Lavern’s Law

There was a dramatic change in the law, upon the adoption of Lavern’s Law.  As of today, the measurement of time is very different.  Now, it is 2 ½ years from the point in time that the patient discovers the missed diagnosis.  This is up to a maximum of 7 years from the date of the patient’s last treatment.  This change in the law makes a huge difference for patients and their families.  Now, otherwise barred claims can still be brought against the doctor who misdiagnosed the patient.

In accordance with the new law, if the misdiagnosis occurred during the period ten months prior to the enactment of the new law, then they have 6 months (after enactment) to bring a lawsuit.

Contact the Law Firm of E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy Concerning Lavern’s Law

Being informed that you have cancer can be one of the most difficult conversations you will ever have.  As we are all aware, it is critical and extremely important to discover that you indeed have a cancerous disease as soon as possible.  You cannot receive the necessary medical treatment if you have not been properly diagnosed with the disease.  

Have you been possibly misdiagnosed about a cancerous disease?  If so, the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy can assist you.  To discover the ways our law firm can assist you, contact us immediately through our contact form online, or by dialing 518-380-2597 today.