What Happens When Wrongful Death Beneficiary Dies During Lawsuit? Depends on Whether there are Heirs

What Happens When Wrongful Death Beneficiary Dies During Lawsuit? Depends on Whether there are Heirs

The takeaway from this post is that if you are representing a wrongful death estate and the survivor has no natural heir, make sure s/he has a will or the claim will die with the survivor.

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Indiana: Who Can Bring Claim for Death of Child When Both Parents Also Die?

Indiana: Who Can Bring Claim for Death of Child When Both Parents Also Die?

In this post, we discuss Parsley v. MGA Family Group, Inc., which held that a grandmother as de facto guardian was not able to pursue a child wrongful death claim for the death of her grandson. After questioning whether the Indiana Court of Appeals reached the right decision, we examine what the procedure is in general to pursue a claim when a child’s custodian is killed alongside the child.

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Indiana Supreme Court Answers Issue of First Impression on Attorney Fees Under Medical Malpractice Act

Indiana Supreme Court Answers Issue of First Impression on Attorney Fees Under Medical Malpractice Act

Today's discussion examines a case of first impression in the Indiana Supreme Court that reversed the court of appeals decision. The court addressed whether a statutory cap on attorney fee recovery from a client in medical malpractice cases could apply to limit liability for attorney fees under the wrongful death statute in medical malpractice cases.

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Does Indiana’s General Wrongful Death Statute Permit Recovery of Attorney Fees? Court Says, ‘Yes’

Does Indiana’s General Wrongful Death Statute Permit Recovery of Attorney Fees? Court Says, ‘Yes’

This week's discussion looks at a case addressing a novel argument under the Indiana General Wrongful Death Statute that argued attorney fees are only available to decedents without dependents. The Court of Appeals found the statute ambiguous and, applying doctrines of interpretation, held that attorney fees are available to both decedents with and without dependents. Perhaps of greater import, the case looked to whether a contingency fee agreement between plaintiff and its counsel provides the fees to be assessed or whether a reasonable-hourly rate was to be applied. Somewhat surprisingly, the court found the contingency fee agreement to control. The full application of this decision seems certain to be the basis for a great many arguments in the future.

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Indiana Supreme Court: Fraudulent Concealment Tolls Wrongful Death Act Statute of Limitations Period

Indiana Supreme Court: Fraudulent Concealment Tolls Wrongful Death Act Statute of Limitations Period

Today's discussion is a follow up to a prior discussion of the case Alldredge v. Good Samaritan Home, Inc. which found its way to the Indiana Supreme Court. The court held that the Fraudulent Concealment Statute acts to toll claims for wrongful death thereby permitting a full two-year period to file a claim after learning of the wrongful act as opposed to requiring a reasonable time to file a claim after discovery of the concealment. The opinion is also an example of a masterfully well-written decision that blends sound legal reasoning with florid prose making for an enjoyable read.

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Wrongful Death Act and Fraudulent Concealment

Wrongful Death Act and Fraudulent Concealment

This week we examine the landmark Indiana Court of Appeals decision in Alldredge v. The Good Samaritan Home, Inc. which applied the fraudulent concealment doctrine from medical malpractice cases to the Indiana Wrongful Death Act and held that the two-year limitation to bring an action is tolled until such time as discovery could reasonably be made.

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