Q: Is a widowed sister-in-law legally entitled to money damages in wrongful death suit of spouse's mother?
I need to confirm if my sister-in-law is eligible to be a co-plaintiff in a wrongful death suit with me and my two siblings. Our mother tragically passed away in June 2020 after three weeks at a healthcare facility. Our mother had four children, but lost a son in 2018, so we are three remaining siblings filing suit against the facility. Had our brother survived, he would have been the 4th party in this action. However, our nursing home abuse attorney advised us that our widowed sister-in-law, as our deceased brother's next of kin, might also make her an eligible co-plaintiff. Our attorney is not versed in estate or probate law and could not provide a definitive answer, but thought he should mention it. Based on the laws of New Jersey, I would appreciate certainty regarding the legal status of an in-law as it relates to our ongoing litigation. Thank you very much for your feedback! -
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