Can I File Suit if My Parents Die from Medical Malpractice?

Our Orlando Medical Malpractice Attorneys Explain

Under Florida law, only surviving spouses and children under 25 can bring a claim for a wrongful death caused by medical malpractice.

The Florida legislature enacted the law in 1990, and in 2000, the Florida Supreme Court held it was constitutional. The Court found the restriction … “bears a rational relationship to the legitimate state interests of limiting increases in medical insurance costs.” Justice Barbara Pariente wrote a strong dissent saying the restriction was unjustified. Justice Pariente asked the legislature to reconsider the law and give adult children who lose a parent from medical neglect the same right to bring a case as those who lose loved ones in other ways, such as being killed by a drunk driver.

The legislature did not reconsider the law and it is still in effect today with no sign of change.

One example of the harsh effect of this law is a situation where a widowed 74-year-old mother of three independent adult children ages 42, 52 and 54 dies when a nurse administers the wrong medication. Since the children are not under 25, they have no claim for the loss of their mother.

One possible but extremely difficult way to get around this restriction is if you can prove that the healthcare provider’s conduct was so outrageous that it goes beyond all bounds of decency. This is an almost impossible burden to meet. Realistically, in most cases where medical neglect kills someone who is survived only by adult children, the children do not file suit against the provider and the healthcare provider is not held accountable through a civil action.

If you have been injured, please contact our Orlando injury attorneys now. We have won several verdicts and settlements for victims of medical malpractice, and we can help you decide on the best legal avenue for your situation. Call 1-800-235-7060 to schedule a no-cost consultation today.