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Hurry Up and Die… or Your Family Will Be Barred from Bringing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

man holding head

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled today that wrongful death lawsuits based on bad medical care must be filed within four years of the medical care, even if the patient has not (yet) died. The Ohio Supreme Court’s decision not only goes against more than 200 years of legal precedent regarding the differences between medical malpractice and wrongful death cases, it’s also absurd on its face. How can the time limit to file a wrongful death lawsuit expire before the death has occurred? How is the family supposed to obtain justice for the wrongful death?

Under today’s ruling, families might have to “macabrely” bring wrongful death cases against medical providers before their loved ones actually die, according to the scathing dissent written by Justice Brunner. But that approach is not likely to be successful. In fact, such a case probably would be dismissed on the grounds that there can be no cause of action for wrongful death unless there is an actual death. What then is the family supposed to do? Ask their loved one to hurry up and die??? Even then, it still may be too late to file a wrongful death case.

Sadly, this is yet another decision from the Ohio Supreme Court that ignores decades of legal precedent (and common sense) to protect the insurance industry. Make no mistake: Eliminating a family’s ability to bring a wrongful death claim based on bad medical care – even before their loved one has died – is just another step toward eliminating altogether all lawsuits based on bad medical care.

This decision underscores the importance of contacting an experienced medical negligence attorney right away if you or someone you know has been the victim of bad medical care. At The Eisen Law Firm, we have been handling medical negligence and wrongful death cases since 1976. If you or someone you know might have a case, please contact us as soon as possible, so that we can determine whether you have a valid claim that isn’t too late to be filed. You can reach us at (216) 687-0900 or for your free case evaluation.