Medical malpractice cases in New York, like all other New York cases, must be filed within the timeframe proscribed by the statute of limitations, otherwise, the plaintiff may lose the right to recover compensation. While medical malpractice claims must be commenced within two and a half years from the date of harm, when a lawsuit is instituted after the injured party’s death, there may be a dispute over when the statute of limitations begins to run. This was demonstrated in a recent New York case in which the plaintiff’s decedent died due to complications from cancer. If you were diagnosed with cancer and subsequently sustained injuries due to the carelessness of the doctor responsible for your treatment, it is important to speak to a skillful Syracuse oncology malpractice attorney promptly to avoid waiving your right to recover damages.
Factual and Procedural History
Allegedly, the plaintiff’s decedent was treated by the defendants for cancer. He ultimately passed away due to complications related to his cancer in August 2015. In May of 2016, the plaintiff instituted an action against the defendants alleging claims of medical malpractice and wrongful death arising out of their treatment of the decedent. Specifically, the complaint alleged the defendants were negligent during the decedent’s hospitalization in July and August 2013. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s lawsuit, arguing that her claims were barred by the statute of limitations. The trial court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.
Statute of Limitations in New York for Wrongful Death Claims in Malpractice Suits
Under New York law, when someone entitled to pursue a claim dies, the representative of his or her estate can pursue a claim on behalf of the estate within one year of the person’s death. In the subject case, the plaintiff demonstrated that she was granted letters of administration in February of 2016, and she commenced the claim by May of 2016. As such, the appellate court ruled that she pursued her claims within the time afforded by law.