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Statute of Limitations Does Not Bar Wrongful Death Claims In Medical Malpractice Cases When Plaintiff Dies Midway Through Litigation

The Illinois Appellate Court, First District has decided that when a plaintiff dies during medical malpractice litigation, even after the statute of limitations has run, the estate can add a wrongful death claim.  Previously, plaintiffs were faced with inconsistent statutes which made this scenario unclear.  In Lawler v The University of Chicago Medical Center Justice Delort, writing for the appellate court, resolved this conflict in favor of justice for the victims of medical malpractice.

The court found that since the defendants were on notice of the claim for medical negligence brought by Ms. Prusak before her untimely death that same complaint was not barred by the expiration of the statute of limitations or repose simply because her death claim did not accrue until after the expiration of the same because the original claim was filed within the statute.