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State Supreme Court Determines Wrongful Death Suit should be Dismissed Due to Statute Of Limitations

Earlier this month, an opinion involving a wrongful death suit was published, dismissing the plaintiff’s claims because they were not brought soon enough after the accident. The case was a wrongful death suit brought by a woman against an ambulance company on behalf of her husband. Evidently, the husband was working as a contractor at a client’s home when he went into cardiac arrest. The client immediately contacted 911, and the emergency personnel dispatched an ambulance through a company they work with.

ambulance-1334534-mThe wife contends that the ambulance company did not arrive in a timely manner. She also alleged that when they did arrive, they did not provide appropriate and proper care. The suit claims that the ambulance driver’s failure to provide adequate care resulted in her husband’s death. At trial, the court found that the ambulance company was considered a governmental agency, and therefore a one-year statute of limitations applied.

Unfortunately, the woman did not meet that one-year limitation, and therefore her suit was dismissed. Both the Circuit Court and Supreme Court affirmed the lower court’s decision to grant summary judgment in favor of the defendants and dismiss the suit.

The Federal Tort Claims Act in Georgia

Personal injury and wrongful death claims involve a series of steps and hurdles before even getting to a judge or jury. However, these claims against the government are even more complex because of the laws governing which entities can be sued and when. Many times, the government is protected from being sued by the theory of “sovereign immunity.” Basically, this doctrine states that government agencies cannot be sued unless they consent or waive their privilege. However, the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) allows the government to be sued in certain very specific situations. The plaintiff must establish that their injuries resulted because of the government’s negligence and that the employee who caused the injury was working within the scope of their federal employment.

Filing an Administrative Tort Claim against the Government in Georgia

It is important that individuals contact an attorney before pursuing these types of cases to ensure that they are following all of the rules and regulations. Individuals must first make sure that they meet the jurisdictional requirement by filing a written claim to the culpable agency.

Abiding by the statute of limitations is crucial in these types of cases, as illustrated by the case above. In Georgia, the claim must be filed within two years of the incident. After notifying the agency, the government has six months to respond to the allegations, and then the plaintiff must file the claim within six months.

Have You Been Injured Because the Negligence of a Government Employee?

If you or a loved one has been injured because of the negligence of a government employee who was working in the scope of their duty, you should consider bringing a claim against the entity. It is important that you contact an attorney to discuss whether you have a viable claim and to begin proceedings. If you are successful, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries related to the accident. Contact Miller Legal Services at 770-284-3727 to schedule a free initial consultation.

See Related Blog Posts

Litigation Against General Motors Continues, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, April 15, 2015.

Filmmakers Plead Guilty and Avoid Trial in Fatal Train Georgia Accident, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, March 18, 2015.