When people in Florida lose a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, a wrongful death claim may help them to pursue some measure of justice and accountability through compensation for the harms done. However, if an attorney fails to live up to their professional obligations in the case, the results can be further devastating. In one case, a legal malpractice lawsuit against an attorney has been reinstated in the aftermath of a failed wrongful death lawsuit. The daughter of an elderly man, acting as administrator of his estate, brought a wrongful death claim against a nursing home, saying that his bedsores acquired through medical negligence were the cause of his death.
However, she says that she lost the case against the nursing home and Jersey City Medical Center because the attorney working on the case never conducted an investigation, reviewed medical records or consulted with experts, either before or after he filed the claim on her behalf. He also failed to file an Affidavit of Merit in the case, believing that it was unnecessary. With little evidence on record, the case was subsequently dismissed with prejudice and a reconsideration request denied. The lawyer himself informed the woman that she may have a claim for malpractice.
After she filed the legal malpractice claim, it was initially dismissed by a Hudson County court. However, she appealed the dismissal to an appellate panel, which reinstated the case after finding that she had submitted extensive legal and medical reports that presented strong evidence to back up her claim and merited a hearing at trial.
Legal malpractice can be devastating, especially when the subject of the case is emotionally painful as well as financially significant. People who have been negligently represented by a lawyer in breach of their professional responsibilities may consult with a legal representative about their options.