Q: How long does a third interested party in a civil wrongful death case have to file for an intervention?
Case was filed on the first of June, the statute of limitations ran out on the twelfth. Prior to the filing, drafts of the complaint were given to the plaintiffs, (M-mother of the deceased, S-sister to the deceased by F-father of the deceased &special administrator to the estate of the deceased) subsequent to this (week of the 22nd of May) M was taken by ambulance to the hospital ⁹where she was treated and released, the next day she was found dead, alone in her home. The following week when the complaint was filed, her name had been removed (so the only people now on the complaint are F & S) seeking to intervene in the interests of her estate
Generally speaking, the right to sue for wrongful death is personal to the statutory beneficiaries of a decedent. Usually, when a wrongful death beneficiary dies, her cause of action for damages arising from the wrongful death of another ceases to exist. Ordinarily, her cause of action does not pass through to her heirs.
Generally, there is a "one-action" rule in wrongful death case pursuant to which ALL of the statutory beneficiaries of a decedent must bring ONE case for the death. This prevents multiple beneficiaries from the death of one decedent from bringing multiple cases in multiple court which theoretically could result in different outcomes.
You should definitely consult with the attorney who is handling the wrongful death claim on behalf of F & S to determine if there is some exception that applies in your particular case. If F & S do not have an attorney, you should seek the advice of a personal injury attorney with experience pursuing wrongful death claims in or near the county where F & S's lawsuit is pending. You should probably also suggest to F & S that they retain an attorney.
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