Earlier this month, an appellate court in Mississippi issued a written opinion in a wrongful death case that illustrates why it is important for accident victims to secure dedicated and knowledgeable counsel to assist them with their claims. In the case, Davis v. Blaylock, the court dismissed three wrongful death cases against various defendants the plaintiff alleged were responsible for the death of her father because the plaintiff had previously filed a case based on the same series of events.
The plaintiff, Long, lost her father while he was in the care of the defendant doctors. Believing that her father’s death was caused by the negligent care he received from the doctors, she filed a series of wrongful death lawsuits against the doctors in different counties. The first lawsuit was filed on November 4, 2014.
Two weeks after the filing of the first lawsuit, Long filed a second lawsuit against a different doctor she claimed was liable for her father’s death. On the same day, Long filed a third wrongful death lawsuit against the medical center where her father was being treated. Three weeks later, Long filed a fourth wrongful death case against the same medical center, making slightly different claims.
In response to the claims, the defendants in the second, third, and fourth wrongful death lawsuits asked the court to dismiss the cases against them because under state law only one wrongful death lawsuit can be pending at a time. The court agreed, explaining that while a wrongful death lawsuit is pending, all others filed after it are of “no effect” and must be dismissed. The court explained that the plaintiff’s request to consolidate the cases rather than dismiss them must also be denied because there was “nothing to consolidate,” given that the cases had “no effect.”
Long argued that her interpretation of the state’s statute of limitations required she file the lawsuits when she did. However, the court explained that Long had misread the statutes of limitations, and she did not need to file the claims as early as she did. The court explained that she should have waited until she had all of the necessary information and then filed a single wrongful death case, naming all of the potentially liable defendants.
As a result of the court’s decision, Long’s second, third, and fourth wrongful death cases were all dismissed. It remains to be seen if she will be permitted to amend her first-filed complaint to include the other defendants and claims that were contained in the dismissed cases.
Have You Been Injured in a Washington, D.C. Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Washington, D.C. accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. It is very important that you follow all of the procedural rules in the filing of your case, or you may risk the delay and potentially the dismissal of otherwise valid claims. A skilled personal injury attorney at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC can assist you in the preparation and filing of your claim. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation to discuss your case with a dedicated personal injury attorney. Calling is free, and you will not be billed for our services unless we are able to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
More Blog Posts:
City Not Immune from Liability in Case Involving Stop Sign Obscured by Overgrown Foliage, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, January 17, 2017
Premises Liability Case Arising Out of New Year’s Eve Apartment Complex Shooting Dismissed, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, January 3, 2017