If a person dies due to medical malpractice, the administrator of the person’s estate can file a lawsuit seeking compensation on behalf of the estate. Regardless of the merits of the underlying claim, however, if the party seeking damages does not comply with the procedural requirements for pursuing claims on behalf of the estate, the claim may be dismissed. This was demonstrated in a recent medical malpractice case which was dismissed due to the plaintiff’s inappropriate filings. If you suffered the loss of a loved one due to medical malpractice it is critical to retain a skilled Syracuse medical malpractice attorney to help you seek damages.
Factual and Procedural Background
Reportedly, in 2015, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, setting forth causes of action of medical malpractice on behalf of her decedent’s estate, arising out of nursing home negligence in January through September 2013. The plaintiff’s decedent died on September 30, 2013, but the plaintiff was not named as the administratrix of the decedent’s estate until January 2018. The case was dismissed by the court for the failure to prosecute. The plaintiff filed a motion to reinstate the action.
Dismissal of a Case Due to Improper Commencement
On appeal, the court affirmed the dismissal of the case and denied the plaintiff’s motion. The court stated that the action was improperly commenced and should have been dismissed at the outset, due to the plaintiff’s failure to obtain proper letters of administration. Further, the court noted that the plaintiff’s attorney lacked any authority to act until the proper party was substituted. As the case was dismissed due to the failure to prosecute, however, the court was limited to addressing the arguments set forth in the plaintiff’s motion.