Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Muffuah

Estate Executor Sue For Deceased?

Recommended Posts

   Assuming that the deceased could, had they lived, won a suit for negligence, pain and suffering, etc. (really, for any tort), can the executor sue on their behalf?   The particular incident I have in mind did not cause or contribute to the death.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/26/2016 at 2:22 AM, Muffuah said:

Assuming that the deceased could, had they lived, won a suit for negligence, pain and suffering, etc. (really, for any tort), can the executor sue on their behalf?

 

Since "the deceased" is an individual, I'm not sure who "they" and "their" refer to, so I'll just assume you're misusing plural pronouns.

 

I disagree with the prior response; wrongful death is not the only tort cause of action available, but the answer to your question depends on the specific facts, which you didn't provide.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not that it's important, but the question was a broad one; not meant to point to any individual or gender nor to a specific instance of civil 'wrong'; "they" and "their" was correct. 

 

I don't want to describe my case specifically, but for illustrative purposes let's say that a nurse negligently drops a piece of equipment, severing a patient's left foot.   Then, two days later, that patient dies from pneumonia- completely unrelated to the severed foot.  This is the sort of scenario with which my question was meant to refer.  <--- (Beautiful grammar, don't you think?)

 

What about an instance where the patient doesn't die in the hospital, leaves said hospital and immediately heads for an attorney's office and dies in an automobile accident on the way?

 

In these cases, it seems wrong that those who would normally be legally responsible would, by virtue of the death of the one injured, lose their civil liability.  If this is a crack in the system, it should be plugged up.  <--- (I know I ended that sentence with a preposition; I apologize).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Without specifics of the incident or the state where this occurs, the answer in general is no.  In most states, wrongful death is the only cause of action that survives the death of the plaintiff, although in some states, there may be rare exceptions. The purpose of the tort system is to make the plaintiff whole.  If the plaintiff dies before filing, there is no one to be made whole.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, doucar said:

Without specifics of the incident or the state where this occurs, the answer in general is no.  In most states, wrongful death is the only cause of action that survives the death of the plaintiff, although in some states, there may be rare exceptions. The purpose of the tort system is to make the plaintiff whole.  If the plaintiff dies before filing, there is no one to be made whole.

 

At the risk of beating a dead horse (I'm just thinking out-loud and I'm sorry for keeping this in the hypothetical):

     The patient in the scenarios mentioned in my reply to PG1067 should have been compensated for the loss of their foot. //  Assuming that I am their only heir, I would be entitled to proceeds of a lawsuit that the patient *Would* have won had they lived long enough to file the suit.  //  Am I not "un-whole" as a result of that coincidence? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since you were not the injured party, there is no need to make you whole unless you paid the medical bills, then the estate may, in some states, be able to recover out of pocket expenses.  In your case, they should have bought life insurance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, doucar said:

Since you were not the injured party, there is no need to make you whole unless you paid the medical bills, then the estate may, in some states, be able to recover out of pocket expenses.  In your case, they should have bought life insurance.

That didn't answer my last question, but thank you for replying. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Muffuah said:

the question was a broad one; not meant to point to any individual or gender nor to a specific instance of civil 'wrong'; "they" and "their" was correct.

 

"They" and "their" are plural pronouns and are not proper when you're speaking of a single person.

 

 

16 hours ago, Muffuah said:

let's say that a nurse negligently drops a piece of equipment, severing a patient's left foot.   Then, two days later, that patient dies from pneumonia- completely unrelated to the severed foot.  This is the sort of scenario with which my question was meant to refer.  <--- (Beautiful grammar, don't you think?)

 

No.  The question would be whether the deceased suffered any damages as a result of the incident.  It sounds like he or she was hospitalized already, so it seems unlikely that he or she lost any wages, and it's reasonable to assume that the hospital would cover the needed bills resulting from the nurse's negligence.  Since the person is now deceased, "pain and suffering" damages aren't recoverable, so it is unlikely that any valid claim would exist.

 

 

16 hours ago, Muffuah said:

What about an instance where the patient doesn't die in the hospital, leaves said hospital and immediately heads for an attorney's office and dies in an automobile accident on the way?

 

Same answer (albeit for slightly different reasons).

 

 

16 hours ago, Muffuah said:

In these cases, it seems wrong that those who would normally be legally responsible would, by virtue of the death of the one injured, lose their civil liability.  If this is a crack in the system, it should be plugged up.

 

I disagree, but you're entitled to your opinion and are free to lobby your elected representatives to change the law.

 

 

14 hours ago, Muffuah said:

The patient in the scenarios mentioned in my reply to PG1067 should have been compensated for the loss of their foot. //  Assuming that I am their only heir, I would be entitled to proceeds of a lawsuit that the patient *Would* have won had they lived long enough to file the suit.  //  Am I not "un-whole" as a result of that coincidence?

 

No.  You (or, more accurately, the deceased's estate) would only be "un-whole" if the deceased had been damaged.  Here's an example:  John is walking home from the grocery store and is hit by a truck driven by Susan, an employee of a furniture store who is in the midst of delivering furniture for her employer.  John is hospitalized and incurs significant medical expenses.  He also misses significant time from his job as a session musician and, in fact, will never again be able to play the guitar.  After nine months, John is released from the hospital.  Before John has a chance to file suit, but before the statute of limitations has expired, John dies as a result of a gas leak in his home.  John's estate has a cause of action against Susan and her employer for John's medical expenses and lost wages that resulted from his accident (but not for "pain and suffering" damages).  His estate or persons with standing under the wrongful death statute may also have a wrongful death claim based on the gas leak.  The difference between this hypothetical and yours is that, in this hypothetical, the deceased suffered monetary damages while alive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...