Wrongful death claim required to be filed within two years of the malpractice

To access case, press here

Sullivan, Justice.
This is one of two cases we decide today involving the interaction of the statute of limitations provision of the Indiana Wrongful Death Act (“WDA”) and the statute of limitations provision for an underlying substantive tort claim. In this case, the limitations period for the underlying tort claim had expired before the lawsuit was filed, but the limitations period under the WDA had not. In Technisand, Inc. v. Estate of Melton ex rel. Melton, the other case we decide today, the sequence was reversed: the limitations period under the WDA had expired before the lawsuit was filed, but the limitations period for the underlying tort claim had not.


Conclusion
(slip op. at 6):  We grant transfer, thereby vacating the decision of the Court of Appeals, App. R. 58(A), and affirm the judgment of the trial court with respect to its decision to grant summary judgment in favor of Bethlehem.


Key Analysis
(slip op. at 5-6):  The Estate filed its complaint more than two years after the last date upon which Bethlehem’s alleged negligent conduct could have occurred, but less than two years from O’Neal’s death . . . If death is caused by the malpractice, the malpractice claim terminates at the patient’s death, and a wrongful death claim must be filed by the personal representative within two years of the occurrence of the malpractice. O’Neal’s death was alleged to have been caused by Bethlehem’s medical malpractice. As such, the wrongful death claim was required to have been filed by her personal representative within two years of the occurrence of the malpractice. The Estate did not do so and the trial court properly concluded that its claim was not timely filed.
Shepard, C.J., and Dickson, Boehm, and Rucker, JJ., concur.

About Bose McKinney & Evans LLP

Bose McKinney & Evans LLP is a business law firm, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, serving both publicly held and privately held businesses, governmental entities and high-growth industries. Our clients include Fortune 100 companies, international manufacturers, national and regional financial institutions, agribusinesses, sports teams, university-incubated start-ups, media, utilities, cities and schools, to name a few. We strive to build strong relationships with our clients as key business advisors, to exceed expectations in the quality of our work, to be knowledgeable about our clients’ businesses and sectors, to be responsive to service needs and to continually seek to improve the delivery of client services. Our ultimate focus is on our clients.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s