Florida’s Wrongful Death Act Prevents Medical Malpractice Suits
For the most part, we trust our doctors and rely on them to make the right decisions for us in regards to our health. However, the sad reality is that many people are unfortunately injured or even killed by their doctor’s negligence. In these situations, Florida residents may believe that the law is on their side. However, due to a little-known loophole on state law, surviving family members of medical malpractice victims often find out the hard way that this is not always the case.
Under Florida law, if a person who is a single man or woman over the age of 25 has no minor children, and dies due to medical malpractice, their family has no legal recourse. This means that a person has to be at least 25 years old and have a spouse or minor children in order for their family to file a lawsuit against the negligent medical professional.
A Florida woman found this out after her 51-year-old son died in August. The man went to Sarasota Memorial Hospital for surgery to repair a leaking heart valve and an aneurysm. He was later transferred to Tampa General Hospital. Two weeks later, he was taken off life support after surgeons could not restore full function to his heart. He never regained consciousness after his surgery. He died on August 20.
His mom contacted a lawyer for advice. She had concerns about the quality of care he received after his surgery. However, before she could explain the situation to her lawyer, the lawyer told her there was nothing he could do to help. While the man had a longtime girlfriend, the two never married. Due to the Wrongful Death Act, the law was not on her side.
The man’s mother, a 71-year-old widow, sent a letter to the Florida Board of Medicine to request an investigation. The man’s girlfriend of 24 years said she had discussed marriage several times and now wishes she and the man would have married before his death.
Free Kill Law
The provision in Florida Statute Section 768.21(8) is known as an offensive term called the Florida “Free Kill” law. This is because the exemption does not allow for doctors to be financially for incompetent treatments that severely harms or kills a patient.
Florida is the only state in the country that has this exclusion to its medical malpractice law. This is concerning, given that the state has a high population of widowed seniors, unmarried college students and middle-aged, unmarried adults with children over the age of 25. In fact, more than half of Florida’s population likely falls into the “free kill” category. This law is very unjust and has led to heartache for many family members of those killed by medical malpractice.
Contact a Coral Springs Medical Malpractice Attorney
Medical malpractice happens all the time. In fact, it is one of the most common causes of death. However, these cases are difficult to fight. Very few victims win their cases, even with legal representation.
The Coral Springs medical malpractice attorneys at the Law Offices of Barry S. Mittelberg, P.A. has the resources and skill to help you fight your case. He is not afraid to take your case to trial and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation by calling (954) 752-1213.