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A “Free Kill” – Medical Malpractice Tort Reform

I received a call this week from a caring son who had lost his mother due to what he believed was a clear-cut case of medical negligence. Like any of us would, he wanted to hold the careless medical practitioner whose negligence killed his beloved mother accountable. He wanted to bring a Wrongful Death lawsuit to seek justice for his tragic loss.

medical_malpractice_lawWhile it broke my heart to do so, I had to inform this gentleman that in Florida he was prohibited from seeking damages for the death of his mother. That’s right: in the State of Florida, the adult children (25 and over) of a parent killed due to medical negligence are prohibited by law from bringing a Wrongful Death lawsuit against the medical practitioner whose negligence killed their parent (see Florida Statute 768.21(8)). Likewise, if an adult child (25 and over) dies due to medical malpractice and he or she has no spouse or children, the parents cannot seek compensation from the at-fault practitioner. It is what has become known in the legal field as a “free kill.”

Throughout the years I have had to explain to many people like the son who I mentioned earlier that there is no justice to be had in Florida for the families of certain medical malpractice victims. It is incomprehensible that a medical practitioner can literally kill someone and there is no justice to be had for the family who has lost a loved one.

Shocked?  Outraged?  I am too.  Tort reform needs to end; the doors of justice need to remain open for everyone, including the families of medical malpractice victims, regardless of family status.

What can you do to change this?  Make sure at election time you vote against anyone who favors tort reform. It is these tort reformists who have allowed laws to be passed such that your family members can be killed by the fault of a medical practitioner with no means for you to seek justice.

PLEASE NOTE: If you have lost a family member due to medical negligence, you can still bring a Wrongful Death suit in Florida if the decedent was survived by a spouse or a child under the age of 25. Call The Grife Law Firm toll-free at 855.998.0770 for all of your medical malpractice needs.