A mother is working to fight a medical malpractice law that is unique to Florida. The law she wishes to change deals with who can file a wrongful death action when the death involves medical malpractice. Currently, Florida law is one of the toughest in the nation against survivors of deadly medical malpractice, and some would say even discriminatory.
The woman’s son died earlier this year after a limited stay at hospital. Her son, suffered from spina bifida, but he did not let the disease control his life. In fact, he was a spokesperson for the cause, met with celebrities, and even appeared at the Super Bowl in Tampa, Florida.
He was originally hospitalized for a broken leg, but his mother was concerned that he had a more serious condition. According to her story, she tried to get the doctors involved to pay more attention to her concerns, but without avail. Later on in his stay, he seized and eventually died. Believing the doctors in her son’s case acted negligently, the mother wanted to bring a wrongful death case, but is barred by Florida law.
Florida Laws on Medical Malpractice, Wrongful Death
Florida’s wrongful death statute allows a victim’s survivors to sue a person or company when negligence causes death. Those who can sue are parents, a spouse, or children of the victim who was died due to the negligence of another. But that does not hold true for medical malpractice in all cases.
When an adult 25 years old or older and without children dies because of medical malpractice, his or her parents are not allowed to bring a wrongful death suit against the doctors or hospitals. This law is found in Florida Statutes 768.21(8). In a few short words, this law bars a parent from getting justice for a child who dies negligently at the hands of a doctor, nurse, hospital, or other medical professional.
Some of the arguments against this law is the discriminatory effect it has on certain population groups. In fact, for young people over the age of 25 without children, it could be argued that doctors and other medical professionals have less to worry about in providing the best care possible because the ramifications of being negligent with this population group is much different than any other.
Discrimination, in most cases is illegal under both the U.S. and Florida Constitutions. As citizens we are all entitled to due process and being treated fairly and equally under the law. But there are times when even the law is not fair and does discriminate unfairly. To overturn those laws, the victims must take their case to the courts where it can be decided whether a law is discriminatory or not. That is exactly what this mother is doing in order to get justice for what she sees as an unjust law, result, and process.
Panama City Area Wrongful Death Attorney
If you are the survivor of a wrongful death in the Panama City area, contact us. At The Pittman Firm we understand that this will be one of the most difficult times in your life. When you contact us we will help you understand what your legal options are and what we can do to help.