Adult Children of Florida Malpractice Victims Cannot Recover Damages

Florida Laws relating to medical malpractice cases do not allow adult children, whose parents die from medical malpractice, to recover damages from the wrongful death of their parents. In all other types of cases, in which a parent dies from the negligence of another, including car accidents, truck accident or even boating accidents, an adult child, that is, someone older than 25, may recover for their parent’s wrongful death, assuming that parent is unmarried at the time of their death.

A number of years ago, doctors and hospitals convinced the Florida Legislature to pass a law excluding adult survivors of medical malpractice victims as Plaintiffs. This means, if you are 25 or older, and your parent is divorced or a widow(er) when they die from medical malpractice, then you are precluded from recovering pain and suffering damages against the doctor or hospital who caused their death.

The Florida Supreme Court has also recently issued an opinion holding this law, which protects doctors and hospitals, to the detriment of all surviving adult children, is constitutional. We have had to regrettably turn away numerous clients, who not only suffered due to the loss of their parent, but are doubly injured by their inability to seek justice on behalf of their deceased parent.

We can only hope that enough Floridians become aware of this limitation and write to their legislators to try to correct this inequity.

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