Dear Gov. Cuomo:
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a piece about why you should sign Lavern’s Law, which has been sitting on your desk for weeks now as the only bill out of 600+ that you’ve failed to act on from last year’s legislative session.
But in my list of reasons to sign a bill that starts the statute of limitations in failure-to-diagnose-cancer cases from the date the malpractice is discovered (as opposed to when the malpractice happens) I neglected to mention one thing.
Lavern’s Law will save taxpayer funds. As it stands now, if someone loses the right to sue before they ever even knew that malpractice occurred, there’s a pretty good chance that Medicaid will pay out much of the medical expenses. And those kinds of expenses can add up.
But if suit is permitted then much of the money can be recovered from the people actually responsible for the unnecessarily diminished health of the patient. Medicaid often recoups money paid out from such lawsuits.
And the best part, from Medicaid’s perspective, is that a private attorney is doing all the work. There is virtually no cost to the state other than contacting us every so often to find out the status of the suit, and settling up if the recovery is partial.
So the question is — aside from the moral and public policy issues I already addressed — who should bear responsibility for the medical costs of malpractice? The party that was negligent? Or the taxpayers?
There are reasons this bill enjoyed wide support from both Democrats and Republicans and why similar laws exist in 44 states. Yes, that’s right, even deep red states have such laws.
But not New York.
Lavern’s Law Will Save New Yorker’s Money posted first on http://delawaretruckinglawyer.tumblr.com/