Limitations of Florida’s Medical Malpractice Laws Leads to Avoidable Tragedy
The daughter of a man who died reportedly by a HUGE 9-inch blood clot tried to bring a malpractice suit against the hospital that allegedly missed the clot despite being informed the man had a history of blood clots. Due to being over the age of 25, she was unable to legally file this claim on behalf of her dead father (see full article from WFLA).
Florida is unique in that even if your parent dies from clear, unquestionable negligence, a malpractice lawsuit cannot be brought if your parent is 1) unmarried and 2) has no children under the age of 25. Basically, a doctor can legally get away with negligently killing you if you’re a widow with adult children.
It’s a law we’ve long since wanted changed. We’ve talked to many people whose parents died from medical negligence and were forced to tell them there is nothing our office, or any office, could do because of this law. Needless to say, they are always devastated.
Adult children have no less an emotional connection and relationship to their parent as a younger child. If a doctor negligently kills your parent, you should be able to hold that doctor, and the facility who hired that doctor, accountable.
Opponents of this change argue it would increase malpractice insurance rates because the number of lawsuits would increase. That is EXTREMELY unlikely. Medical Malpractice lawsuits are NOT simple to file and require a law firm to expend several THOUSAND dollars in expert costs to merely determine if there even was malpractice. This cost alone stops countless potential malpractice cases from moving forward.
We hope this sad tale leads to some change to this law that helps no one, and allows doctors to remain unaccountable for the death of a loved one. Only time will tell.
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