Visitor Question

Can a lawsuit be filed for a death 6 years ago?

Submitted By: Marshell (Wellsville, Ohio USA)

My husband’s mother was a resident in a nursing home in Ohio. She fell one day and broke her hip. She was sent to a hospital in Pennsylvania, and died there as a result of the fall.

At the time this happened in 2005, my husband was told that because she was sent out of state he could not sue. I told him I did not believe this. Can my husband sue now in 2011 or is it to late? Is there anything else he can do?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Marshell,

Regrettably, it is much too late. The Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death cases in Ohio and Pennsylvania is 2 years.

What this means is from the time of the injury, or time the injury could have reasonably be discovered there is a 2 year time period which in which legal action can be taken.

If a personal injury claim is not settled, or a lawsuit filed within that 2 year period the victim, or her representative lose their rights to file suit to recover any compensation for the injuries. Regrettably, this is the same for all personal injury cases in these two states.

You might check to see if a settlement was discussed back when the injury happened. If so there may have been some money set aside for the case.

Sometimes insurance companies set aside certain amounts of money for claims which they believe may occur. Although it’s a long shot, it wouldn’t hurt to check.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: September 10, 2011

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