Greenlawn man pushes for passage of Lavern's Law

A Greenlawn man is pushing for the passage of Lavern's Law as a way to help families that are struggling with cancer.

Michael Dreifuss is also pushing for the bill's passage after losing both his wife and child to cancer. His 7-year-old son James was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2006. His wife June was also battling breast cancer, which spread to her bones.

James died in May 2008, and June died two months later. Dreifuss says that despite his wife going for a mammogram every year, the doctors must have missed something in one of the images.

"Whatever was in that slide, they spotted it, had us come back," Dreifuss says. "The second time around, they either missed it or they did not communicate it to us."

Dreifuss and his wife went to an attorney before her passing, but he says they were told that they had no legal recourse because the statute of limitations on a possible medical malpractice claim had expired.

In New York, claims against public hospitals must be filed within 15 months of when the alleged malpractice occurs, rather than when the patient actually discovers any wrongdoing.

Supporters of Lavern's Law say that New York is one of just six states that has not passed the bill.

Lavern's Law was passed in the state Assembly, but not in the Senate. News 12 reached out to state Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan for comment, but has not heard back.

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