Rochester, NY asked in Health Care Law, Personal Injury and Wrongful Death for New York

Q: Is there a time limit to file on a wrongful death (hospital) lawsuit in New York state?

I lost a child at just under 36 weeks pregnant. I was told by a lawyer at the time (2000) that nothing could be done because the baby did not take a breath outside of utero, but, the reason the baby didn't take a breath was negligence on the part of the hospital staff. I have proof in paperwork. It just doesn't seem right. At the time, I was young and not in a position emotionally to fight a legal case so I did not follow through on anything and now I'm just really curious.

3 Lawyer Answers
Jonathan Bradford Ripps
Jonathan Bradford Ripps
Answered
  • New City, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Hi – I’m so terribly sorry about your incident. I can’t imagine how you are feeling. If you would like to talk to Us or any other attorney, please contact me and we can discuss a little more Fullyt about whether you have any ability to file a suit that involves recovery. Again, I’m so sorry. It must be so devastating.

All the best and stay safe,

Jon

1 user found this answer helpful

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
Answered
  • Little Neck, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: I'm very sorry for your heartbreaking story. The statute of limitations (deadline to file legal action) for wrongful death in New York is two years from the date of death. This is covered in Section 5-4.1 of N.Y. Estate, Powers, and Trusts Law. Insert the text for the link below into your search browser and that will take you to the law.

https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/EPT/5-4.1

You could find a list of New York statutes of limitations at this page (again, you could insert the text for the link below into your search browser) of the NYS Unified Court System:

http://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/GoingToCourt/SOLchart.shtml#:~:text=Statute%20of%20Limitations%20%20%20%20Case%20,CPLR%20214%20(4)%20%2028%20more%20rows

You could reach out to attorneys to discuss. With COVID, many law firms are able to arrange virtual consults. Good luck

Tim Akpinar

1 user found this answer helpful

Jonathan R. Ratchik
Jonathan R. Ratchik
PREMIUM
Answered
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: I'm so sorry for your loss. Unfortunately, New York State does not recognize wrongful death claims for the death of an unborn child, Endresz v. Friedberg, 24 N.Y.2d 478 (1969). https://casetext.com/case/endresz-v-friedberg Although you may have been able to sue for your own grief and emotional distress, the statute of limitations for malpractice actions is only 2.5 years from the date of malpractice and has long since expired if your child passed away in 2000.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.